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History and Objeotb of the Charitt 1 

Memoir op the Founder 6 

Early Admission op Children 38 

Tokens 49 

Children Received with Money 53 

The Present Praotiob 55 

Reasons for the Ezistenoe of the Charity .... 58 

The Privileqes of the Governors 71 

Namino and Baptising of the Children 73 

The Nursing of the Children 75 

The Disposal op the Children 78 

The Revenue op the Hospital 79 

The Benevolent Fund for Adults 83 

The early Association op the Hospital with Artists . 85 

Hogarth 87 

The Chapel 102 

Handel 107 

Benjamin West, R.A 110 

The Catacombs Ill 

Proposal for making the Hospital available as a 

Public Music School 114 

The Juvenile Band 124 

Catalogue op Pictures 129 

Postscript 155 

/Captain Coram to pace the Title. 

J Illustration of the objects of the Hospital .^ . . . 69 
/ The Foundungs . . , 88 

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It is related, that when Captain Thomas Coram, the 
Founder of this Hospital, resided at Eotherhithe, about 
the year 1720, his avocations obliging him to go early 
into the city, and return late, he frequently saw infants ' 
exposed and deserted in the public streets; and as 
there was but one step in his active mind from the 
knowledge of an evil to a desire for remedying it, he 
immediately set about inquiring into the probable 
causes for so outrageous a departure from humanity 
and natural affection. 

He knew, what every man who studies the human 
heart must know — that the motive to such a dereliction 
of maternal duty must be beyond the ordinary casualties 
of indigence. He was not long in discovering the true C/^ 

source of the evil. He found that it arose out of 
a morbid morality, then possessing the public mind, 
by which an unhappy female, who fell a victim to the 
seductions and false promises of a designing man, was 
left to hopeless contumely, and irretrievable disgrace. 
Neither she uor the offspring of her guilt appear to 
have been admitted within the pale of human com- 
passion : her first false step was her final doom, without 

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even the chance, however desirous, of returning to the 
road of rectitude. All the consideration which was 
given to her condition, was the enactment of laws to 
bring her to punishment, after she had been driven to 
the commission of the worst of crimes : for the error 
of a day, she was punished with the infamy of years ; 
and although her departure from the path of virtue, 
so far from being the consequence of a previous vicious 
disposition, might have been brought about by an 
artful scheme of treachery, she was branded for ever 
as a woman habitually lewd. These evils necessarily 
increased the quantum of crime in society, according 
to the manner in which they operated upon the 
unfortunate individuals under their influence; — still 
no one stepped forward to provide a remedy. The 
legislature, from time to time, condemned the unhappy 
wretch to capital punishment who should, in the 
madness of despair, lift her arm against the child of 
her guilt ; but it never once considered the means by 
which both parent and child might be saved from 
destruction : yet, by a strange perversity, those very 
laws bore on the face of them evidence of the necessity 
and justice of some more Christian proceeding. In 
all of them, the crime for which the punishment was 
awarded, is stated to have been committed from a 
desire in the mother to '[avoid her shame!^ Surely 
the woman who would make so great a struggle to 
preserve her reputation, as to break the natural ties 
which bind parent to offspriiig, who is willing to forego 
the endearments which are the fruits of her situation, 
by either sacrificing or deserting her child, cannot 

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with justice, be charged as habitually lewd ! — a lewd 
woman has no shame to hide — she makes a show of 
her guilt, and claims, in open day, the protection which 
she knows has been provided for her by the poor-laws. 
But when a woman, with a sense of honour, finds 
herself the unsuspecting victim of treachery, with 
the witness of her disgrace hanging about her 
neck, in the person of her child, left to the reproach 
of the world and her own conscience, and seeing no 
other means of saving her character, she becomes 
delirious in her despair, and vents her fury on the 
consequence of her seduction — the child of her 
seducer ! Hence the murder and desertion of children 
became alarming evils — evils which were produced and 
perpetuated "^r want '^ (to use the words of Captain 
Coram) ''of proper means for preventing the disgrace 
and succouring the necessities of their parents.^' He 
therefore proposed to erect a sanctuary, to which these 
wretched mothers might fly, and there deposit the 
ofispring and the secret of an unhallowed intercourse, 
and be thus enabled to return to that path from which 
they had unguardedly strayed. 

This was doubtless the object of Captain Coram. 
In all his memorials to persons of distinction, soliciting 
their support, he ascribes to the parent, as -the motive 
of her cruel conduct towards her ofispring, a desire to 
preserve her reputation, — to ''hide her shame ;'' and in 
Hogarth's design, illustrating the views of the Founder, 
it will be seen that he makes him hold personal com- 
munion with the penitential mother, pouring into her 
heart the oil of gladness, whilst he relieves her of the 

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child of her sorrow. To accomplish his purpose of 
founding an Hospital for the objects described, Captain 
Coram, with his usual zeal, endeavoured to enlist the 
sympathies of the humane and charitable. He soon 
found, however, that there were obstacles in the way. 
They who admitted the evil, questioned the remedy, 
and doubted whether it might not prove greater than 
the disease. He was for seventeen years combating 
public opinion on this head, and though he at last 
prevailed, it was after many contests between himself 
and others as to the probable issue. Can it be 
wondered at, therefore, that in addressing the President 
at the first meeting of the Governors. after the charter 
had been granted, he should throw out a suggestion, 
that its success could only be secured "provided due and 
proper care he taken for setting on foot so necessary an 
establishment^^ This, besides being dictated by his own 
good sense, was also forced upon him by those who 
aided in his scheme, and was the condition upon which 
they gave him their support. "This due and proper 
care " could only refer to the selection of the objects, 
and it will be seen in succeeding pages with what 
absence of forethought the Hospital was "set on foot," 
and the evil consequences which arose therefrom. 

At the very outset an error was committed. Captain 
Coram, and those who assisted him, petitioned for two 
objects : —first, to "prevent the frequent murders of poor 
miserable infants at their birth ;" secondly "to suppress 
the inhuman custom of exposing new-born infants to 
perish in the streets." Now to accomplish these 
objectS; the Charter incorporated an " Hospital for the 


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maintenance and education of exposed and deserted 
\ young children,''* thus giving a license to that which 
was contrary to law, and which the memorialists were 
desirous to suppress. It was clear, therefore, that such 
a charter, though beneficial as regards the rights and 
privileges which it gave to the Governors, as a corpora- 
tion, was useless as respected the main object, namely, 
the admission of children, — and so it proved. In the 
next session of Parliament, after the charter was 
granted, the Governors found it necessary to frame a 
bill to explain and enlarge the powers granted to them. 
This bill passed into a law ; and the preamble afibrds 
the explanation required, by stating that the Hospital 
is for infants who are liable to be exposed in the streets, 
or to be murdered by their parents. Now there are 
two causes which may suggest themselves to the reader, 
as likely to lead to the exposition or destruction of 
infants: namely, inability of parents to maintain them, 
or a wanton inhumanity. With respect to the first, — 
though this miserable plea has been sanctioned in 
countries where humanity and morality have made but 

* "It seems to have been a general mistake in establishing the Hospital, 
that we founded onr arguments for it, and the great principle of the plan, 
upon the practice of other nations drawing onr conclusions with too little 
attention to the genius of our own. Where the arm of arbitrary power 
wrings from the hands of peasants the poor remains of the produce of their 
daily labour, and makes no proyision to supply their wants, but such aa the 
charity of Beligious Houses furnishes, as was the case with us, before the 
days of Queen Elizabeth, the comparison cannot hold. Where property is 
not sacred, industry cannot flourish ; and where commerce does not famish 
employment, misery cannot be so well kept at arms length. In countries 
where the soil is less fertile, and showers from Heaven do not create plenty, 
want will more generally abound/' — Jono/S Hamoay, cm active Qovemorf 
1766 to 1787. 

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little progress, yet in England it is altogether without 
foundation, for the wise and systematic provision which 
has been made for the relief of indigence^ by the 
institution of poor-laws, takes from poverty the 
desperate alternative to which it might otherwise be 
exposed. As to the second cause — wanton inhumanity^ 
it may be said, that however the barbarous policy of 
eastern countries may render callous the human heart 
to the calls of parental affection, — in this country, 
where the mild influences of Christianity strengthen 
and support the natural ties which bind parent to 
offspring, the wanton sacrifice of infant life is happily 
of rare occurrence. It will then be asked, ''what 
children are liable to be exposed and destroyed by their 
parents V It is answered, — the children of those 
wretched mothers, before described, whose combination 
of mental and bodily distress admits of no partial 
relief, — no relief which the poor-law can effectually 
bestow. These were the objects which fell under 
the compassionate consideration of Captain Coram, 
and the non-attention of the early Governors to his 
cautionary suggestion, produced as might have been 
expected, most lamentable consequences, and caused 
the Founder himself to secede from the Council 
Board of the Institution. 


Captain Coram was bom at Lyme Regis, in 
Dorsetshire, in the year 1668. He was a descendant 

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of the Corbams, of Devonshire ; and Kinterbury, in 
that county, was for several generations, the property 
and residence of the family.* Of his baptism, there 
does not appear to be any record. at Lyme Regis ; and 
all that can be found in the registers relating to the 
family is the following : — 

"William, son of John Coram, Captain, was baptized 
at Lyme, April 29th, 167l/'t 

There seems to be no doubt, therefore, that this 
" William'' was a younger brother of " Thomas/' the 
subject of this memoir, and consequently, that the 
latter, in devoting himself to the sea service, followed 
the occupation of his father. At Lyme Regis, which 
is a sea-port, there was carried on, at the period in 
question, a considerable coasting and Newfoundland 
trade ; and hence we may venture to account for the 
first direction of his course in maritime concerns. 

Of his early years there is no biographical notice 
extant ; but it appears probable that the ardent tem- 
perament which he exhibited through life, was too 
strong for the restraints of home and domestic ties, 
and that this, and his love of enterprise, caused him 
to be, even at the outset of his career, an independent 
member of his father's family. 

About the year 1694 (he being then twenty-six 
years old), we find him at Taunton, Massachusetts, 
in the United States, exercising the humble trade of 
a shipwright. To this new country, he had, doubtless, 

♦ Vide Eisdon'B Chorograpliical Description of the County of Devon. 
t For this information the writer is indebted to Dr. Hodges, the present 
Vicar of Lyme Begis. 

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gone in the spirit of adventure ; and here lie gave 
the first instance on record of that public devotedness 
for which he was so remarkable. Whilst in this 
comparative wilderness, he perceived, with regret, the 
uncivilized condition of the inhabitants, by reason 
of the absence of systematic religion, as exercised by 
the Church of England, of which he was a member. 
By a deed, therefore, dated 8th December, 1703, he 
conveyed to the Governor and other authorities of 
Taunton, fifty-nine acres of land. The condition of 
the gift was this, — that whenever, in the progress of 
civilization and the increase of population, the people 
of the place should desire the Church of England to 
be established there, that then, on their application 
to the vestrymen, or their successors in office, the 
land, or a suitable part of it, was to be granted for 
that purpose, or for a school-house, as they might 
desire. This gift, the deed alleges, was made "in 
consideration of the love and respect which the donor 
had and did bear unto the said church as also for 
divers other good causes and considerations him 
especially at that present moving.^' In this deed he 
is described as " of Boston, in New England, some- 
times residing in Taunton, in the County of Bristol, 
Shipwright.'' At a subsequent period of his life he 
presented to the parish of Taunton a valuable library, 
part of which remains to this day. Some of the 
books appear to have been solicited by Coram from 
others. Thus, in the copy of Common Prayer now 
preserved in the church, the entry in the title pag6 
is as follows : — " This Book of Common Prayer is 

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given by the Right Honourable Arthur Onslow, 
Speaker of the Honourable House of Commons of 
Great Britain, one of His Majesty's Most Honourable 
Privy Council, and Treasurer of His Majesty's Navy, 
&c., to Thomas Coram, of London, Gentleman, for the 
use of a Church, lately built at I'aunton, in New 
England/' Coram appears to have obtained the warm 
friendship of Mr. Speaker Onslow, of the evidence of 
which this is not the only instance. 

From Taunton Captain Coram removed to Boston, 
about the close of tfie seventeenth century, and 
engaged in Commerce. He became a ship-master, 
and acquired some property in following seas, 
especially in the then newly-discovered fisheries. By 
his intercourse with the colonies, at their different 
ports, he became well acquainted with their wants, 
and deeply concerned for their welfare; and though 
in a comparatively humble station, originated many 
noble plans for their benefit. 

In 1704 he was very instrumental in planning and 
procuring an Act of Parliament, for encouraging the 
making of Tar in the Northern Colonies of British 
America, by a bounty to be paid on the importation 
thereof,- whereby not only a livelihood was afforded 
to thousands of families employed in that branch of 
trade in North America, but above a million sterling 
was saved to the nation, which was heretofore obliged 
to buy all its Tar from Sweden, at a most exorbitant 
price, besides being imported in Swedish vessels. 

In the year 1719, he was on board the ship "Sea 
Flower," on her passage to Hamburgh, when she 

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was stranded off Cuxhaven and plundered by the 
inhabitants of the district of her cargo. Coram, in 
endeavouring to preserve the property on board, was 
grossly ill-used by the pirates, who managed to 
overpower him and the rest of the authorities. In 
the affidavit relating to this outrage, he is described 
as "of London, Mariner and Shipwright," and the 
affidavit further sets forth, " That he (Coram) having 
usually sold to his Majesty in the year past and at 
other times, quantities of naval stores from America, 
for the supply of his Majest/s navy, did about 
February last, design to visit his Majest/s German 
dominions to see what supplies of timber and other 
naval stores could be had from thence, fit for the navy 
royal." By this incident in the life of Coram, we learn 
the nature of his transactions at this period, but it 
would seem that soon afterwards, having accumulated 
as much wealth as suited his moderate views, he 
retired from the sea service, and devoted himself for 
the remainder of his life to projects having for their 
object the public good. It was soon after this, that 
he turned his attention to the destitute state of the 
infant poor of the metropolis, and engaged in 
his laudable design of establishing an Hospital for 

Captain Coram was not a mere theorist. All his 
schemes were of a practical nature. He first made 
himself thoroughly master of his subject, and then 
set about convincing those whose assistance he 
deemed necessary for their accomplishment. The 
difficulty he had to encounter was the want of that 

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energy of character in others, which was so remark- 
able in himself. This retarded the progress of many 
of the projects he had set on foot for the benefit of 
mankind. The good, however, that he eflfected, is 
sufficiently substantial to hand his name down to the 
latest posterity, as the lover of his country and of her 
people. The celebrated Horace Walpole said of him 
that he was the "honestest, the most disinterested, 
and the most knowing person about the plantations''* 
he ever talked with. The Colonial concerns of the 
country certainly had his special care. 

It was at the solicitation of Captain Coram, that 
an Act of Parliament was obtained for taking oflF the 
prohibition on importing deal boards and fir timber 
from the Netherlands and Germany, on account of 
the King of Denmark having enhanced the prices of 
those commodities, by which means they immediately 
fell twenty per cent. 

In the year 1732 ho was appointed one of the 
trustees, by a charter from George II. for the settle- 
ment of Georgia, in the colonization of which province 
he took deep interest. 

His next project related to Nova Scotia, and about 
the year 1735 he addressed the following Memorial 
to George 11. 

* There is an hononrable testimonial in favonr of Captain Goram's 
character, in a letter from Mr. Horace Walpole, then ambassador at the 
Hague, to his brother, Sir Eobert Walpole, dated the 18th April, 1735 ; 
where in a colonial matter of considerable importance, which is the subject 
of the letter, Mr. Walpole closes with these words : " Lose no time in 
talking with Sir Charles Wager, Mr. Blanden, and one Coram, the honestest 
the most disinterested, and the most knowing person abont the plantations 
I ever talked with." Ooxe's Life of Sir Robert Walpole, vol. HI., page 243. 

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**To the Kin^s Most Excellent Majesty in Council, 

"The Memorial of Thomas Coram, Gentleman, 
most humbly showeth, — 

"That your memorialist having, through long ex- 
perience in naval affairs, and by residing many years 
in your Majesty's plantations in America, observed, 
with attention, several matters and things which he 
conceives might be greatly improved, for the honour 
and service of the Crown, and the increase of the 
trade, navigation, and wealth of this kingdom ; he, 
therefore, most humbly begs leave to represent to 
your Majesty, — 

"That the coasts of your Majesty's province of 
Ncyoa Scotia afford the best cod-fishing of any in 
the known parts of the world, and the land is well 
adapted for raising hemp, and other naval stores, for 
the better supplying this kingdom with the same : 
but the discouragements have hitherto been such as 
have -deterred people from settling there, whereby the 
said province, for want of good inhabitants, is not so 
beneficial to this kingdom, nor so well secured to the 
Crown as it might be ; because it cannot be presumed 
the French inhabitants, who remain there by virtue of 
the treaty, whereby Nova Scotia was surrendered to 
Great Britain, anno 1710, being all papist, would be 
faithful to your Majesty's interest, in case of a war 
between Great Britain and France. 

"Your memorialist, therefore, most humbly con- 
ceives that it would be highly conducive to the 
interests of this kingdom to settle, without loss of 

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time, a competent number of industrious protestant 
families in the said province, which is the northern 
frontier of your Majest/s dominions in America^ 
imder a civil government to be established by your 
Majesty, conformable in all its branches, as near as 
may be to the constitution of England, which seems 
the most probable, if not the only means of peopleing 
this province, which experience shows could not be 
effected under the military government that hath been 
exercised there upward of twenty-four years past, and 
of giving effectual encouragement to the cod-fishery, 
that valuable branch of British commerce, which hath 
declined very much of late years, in proportion as 
the French have advanced therein. 

"Your memorialist further begs leave to observe 
that the French are masters of the best salt in the 
world for curing fish, whereas the English are obliged 
to have what salt they use fix)m foreign dominions, 
which make it highly necessary to secure a perpetual 
supply of salt in your Majest/s dominions in America, 
that we may not depend on a precarious supply of 
that commodity from the dominions of other princes. 
And your memorialist humbly conceives that the 
Island of Exuma, which is one of the Bahamas, would 
afford sufficient quantities of salt for all your Majest/s 
subjects in North America, provided Cat Island, 
another of the Bahamas, lying to windward of Exuma, 
was well settled and put in such a posture, as to be 
able to cover Exuma and protect the salt rakers from 
the depredations of the Spaniards of Baracoa (the 
settling of Cat Island would be otherwise vastly 

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advantageous to the Crown), and provided the 
unreasonable demand of the tenth of all salt raked 
there be abolished, for want of which encouragements, 
the salt ponds of Exuma have hitherto been useless to 
the public. 

" To these purposes your memorialist humbly lays 
the annexed petition to your Majestjr's feet, and begs 
leave to add that there are several honourable and 
worthy persons ready to accept and act in the trust 
therein described, if your Majesty shall be pleased to 
grant your Royal Letters Patent for that purpose. 

** Wherefore he most humbly prays your Majesty 
to order that this memorial, together with the petition 
hereunto annexed, and whatever your memorialist 
shall have occasion farther to offer, concerning the 
same, may be taken into consideration, and that your 
Majesty will be graciously pleased to do therein as 
your Majesty in your great wisdom and goodness shall 
seem proper. 

"And he will ever pray, &c., &c. 

*' Thomas Coram/' 

Accompanying this memorial, was a petition from 
more than one hundred '* labouring handicraftsmen, 
whose respective trades and callings were overstocked 
by great numbers of artizans and workmen who 
resort from all parts of the metropolis, whereby the 
petitioners were unable to procure sufficient to main- 
tain themselves and families/^ They further set forth 
" that to avoid extreme want, and escape the tempta- 
tions which alway attend poverty, they were desirous 
of being settled securely in some of the plantations of 

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America/' The petitioners then state the advantages 
of the uncultivated tracts of land in the province of 
Nova Scotia, and pray that they may have the grant 
of a free passage thither, and when there be protected, 
their persons and properties by a civil government as 
near as may be to the constitution of England. 

Captain Coram's memorial was referred to the 
Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, 
before whom he appeared on several occasions between 
the years 1735 and 1737, and both verbally and in 
writing submitted the most satisfactory and elaborate 
evidence of the propriety and expediency of his pro- 
posal, and the laws by which the colony should be 
maintained and governed, so as to draw the following 
approval from the Lords Commissioners, addressed to 
the Privy Council, dated 22nd April, 1737. 

"The settlement of Nova Scotia with English 
inhabitants is of very great consequence to his 
Majesty's interest in America, and to the interest of 
this kingdom, from its situation with regard to the 
French, and from the fishery now carried on at Conso, 
and the several branches of naval stores that province 
is capable of producing, when once it shall be settled, 
as we have several times represented to his Majesty 
and to your lordships, particularly in our report of the 
7th June, 1727 ; and therefore, we think it very much 
for his Majesty's service, to give all possible encourage- 
ment to any undertaking for this purpose, especially 
when attended with so great an appearance and 
probability of success as that of Mr. Coram's now 
under our consideration/' 

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Although the object which Captaiii Coram had in 
this matter was postponed for several years owing 
to political changes and hindrances, yet, before he 
died, he had the satisfaction of seeing the full 
development of his plans, in regard to this now 
valuable colony. 

What further relates to this great and good man, 
and of the diflferent measures which were the objects 
of his laborious and useful life, cannot be communi- 
cated more appropriately than in the language of 
Dr. Brocklesby, his most intimate friend, who, 
soon after the death of Coram, thus delineated his 

" The tribute of praise is due to every virtue — due 
in proportion to the excellence and extent of that 
virtue to which it is paid ; and consequently, public 
spirit, which is of all' virtues the most conducive to 
the good of society, deserves as high returns of 
public gratitude and respect as can possibly be given. 
This is the rather incumbent on every community 
where conspicuous instances of this kind appear, 
because it is indeed the only reward adequate to 
their merit, and the best method of propagating the 
example; for what can so properly, or so potently 
excite public spirit, as the sense of its begetting 
public love ? The most illustrious of all good 
qualities ought certainly to be honoured with the 
noblest testimony of affection and esteem. 

"There may, indeed, be some kind of restraint, 
some check upon our zeal during the life of the 
party, from an apprehension that praise might be 

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mistaken for flattery, and that instead of promoting 
a general sense of the good man's virtue, it might 
be the means of exposing him to envy. But when 
a man is dead, praise is less suspected ; and those 
who would have listened very unwillingly to his 
commendations when living, will be the first to ap- 
plaud and support it when he is no more. Whatever 
prejudices he had to combat, whatever opposition 
was formed to his designs, while he was busy in 
the pursuit, the man of public spirit is no sooner at 
rest from his labours and his life (which always 
end together), than the sentiments of the public are 
united on his behalf^ and all attend with pleasure to 
the recital of those actions of the dead, which the 
living will find diflficult to imitate. 

" The late Captain Thomas Coram, now gone to his 
grave in a good old age, with the universal regret 
of the knowing and upright part of mankind, was a 
person whose merit and virtues were so extraordinary, 
exerted with such vigour, and with so great constancy 
for the benefit of society, that an attempt to raise 
some little monument to his memory cannot fail of 
being well received by the public, whose servant he 
was for upwards of forty years before his death, 
without any other wages than the honest satisfaction 
he felt in doing good and discharging his duty ; and 
will, at the same time, furnish a pleasing employment 
to one who loved him from the contemplation of his 
singular character, and for that rugged integrity 
which distinguished him exceedingly in the present 
age, and which would have done him no small honour 


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even in better times. An abler hand might have 
easily undertaken the task, but none could perform it 
with a better will. 

"He was born about the year 1668, bred in the 
sea-service, and spent the first part of his life in the 
station of master of a vessel trading to our colonies, 
by which he gained a perfect acquaintance with that 
commerce which is of so great consequence, and 
produces so great profit to this nation. He acquired 
very early, a sincere and warm attachment to the 
true interests of his country — had a real concern for 
them, and did not affect public spirit to cover any 
private views. His experience was his principal 
guide and from thence he learned to consider rational 
liberty, active industry, and unblemished probity, as 
the only principles upon which national prosperity 
could be built ; and to these, therefore, he gave his 
loudest voice and his most earnest endeavours. Free 
from all hypocrisy, he spoke what he thought with 
vehemence. But his zeal did not rest in words ; it 
was no less visible in his actions : so that not 
contented with wishing well to his country, and serving 
it faithfully in his private and particular capacity, he 
ventured to step out of the common road, and 
exerted himself in favour of many projects, from no 
other motive than their being of general utility. 

" It may create some wonder, that without any 
other qualifications than these, Captain Coram should 
undertake to form schemes considerable for their 
extent, and very important in their intentions ; and 
still more wonderful that he should procure, from 

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men of great abilities and long acquaintance with 
business, an approbation of these schemes, and carry 
them at length into execution, by dint of unwearied 
application, and a perseverance that nothing could 
delay, disturb, or destroy. But this he certainly did, 
and that without any act but that of disclaiming it — 
without any address beyond that of showing the 
advantages which the public would reap from his 
projects— he actually brought them, sooner or later, 
to bear, is a position so well supported by facts, that, 
though it is a little improbable, it must be believed. 

"But if he wanted certain accomplishments— if he 
was deficient in some things which are thought 
necessary to form a successful solicitor, he had certain 
talents that supplied these defects. He had an honesty 
that, though it was a little rough, carried such apparent 
marks of its being genuine, that those who conversed 
with him but a little, lost all apprehensions of being 
deceived ; and if this did not give him an easier 
entrance, it certainly procured him an earlier confidence 
than would have resulted from a more polished 
behaviour. His arguments were nervous, though 
not nice — foimded commonly upon facts, and the 
consequences that he drew, so closely connected 
with them, as to need no further proof than a fair 
explanation. When once he made an impression, he 
took care it should not wear out ; for he enforced it 
continually by the most pathetic remonstrances. In 
short, his logic was plain sense ; his eloquence, the 
natural language of the heart. 

**When the possession of Nova Scotia was first 

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recovered to the crown of Great Britain by force of 
arms, and secured afterwards by a treaty of peace, 
Captain Coram very early saw the consequence that 
this province was of to the natural interest of this 
nation and her colonies. He was, therefore, very 
eager and very earnest to have it thoroughly settled, 
which, if once done, he very well knew, that the ad- 
vantages arising from agriculture, fishing, and trade, 
for which, from the richness of its soil, the convenience 
of its coasts, and the multiplicity of its harbours, it was 
admirably adapted, would make the value of it quickly 
known. In this, if he had not the good fortune which 
he expected and deserved, he was totally disappointed ; 
and, at the same time, had the pleasure to perceive 
that the more his notions were attended to, and the 
closer they were examined, the plainer and more 
probable they appeared ; so that the utility of his 
scheme was acknowledged in a much greater degree 
than was, at that time of day, held expedient to carry 
it into execution. 

"But as plans for the public service, well laid, 
though they sleep for a loDg time, seldom fail of 
waking at last, when, through a train of unlooked-for 
accidents and unexpected events, administrations are 
roused to attention, so, before his death, he had the 
satisfaction of seeing his old scheme revived, and this 
province, which had been so long neglected, owned 
and considered in that light in which he had long 
before placed it. This must certainly have given him 
great consolation, more especially when he perceived 
that it was carried on under the auspice of a noble 

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person nearly allied to him in sentiment, and who had 
no other motive to that care and concern which ha 
has shown for this rising colony but his aflfection 
to his country, and to whatever may contribute to 
strengthen her extensive empire, and secure the con- 
tinuance of that prosperity which she derives from 
naval power, and settlements well placed and worthily 

" May such noble attempts meet with that success 
they deserve I May this country, so well situated, be 
thoroughly peopled and effectually cultivated 1 May 
protestants from every climate meet therein with a 
happy retreat from all kinds of oppression, and, by 
the help of their own industry, under the protection 
of the British Government, acquire a comfortable 
assistance, which they will never want spirit to 
defend 1 

" He was highly instrumental in promoting another 
good design— a design equally beneficial to Britain at 
home, and British subjects abroad, which coalition of 
interests is a thing always to be wished, and may, as 
in this case actually it was, be without much difficulty 
accomplished. The design here intended was the 
procuring a bounty upon naval stores imported from 
the colonies— a matter of vast advantage to the 
mother country, as it freed her from the necessity 
of dependence upon foreigners for commodities of 
essential consequence to her strength, and even to her 
safety, as it prevented the purchasing them with ready 
money, which was, in effect, saving so much treasure, 
and, as it exempted her from many difficulties which 

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she had often felt, and from the apprehension of 
which she could not otherwise be delivered — points, 
one would imagine, of so serious a nature, as, if once 
proposed, to command the strictest attention, and the 
truth of which, once known, from a close examination, 
never to be let slip out of memory. The design was 
likewise of infinite benefit to the colonies, because it 
afforded the means of enriching them by return from 
Britain, which, though nature furnished them with 
the commodities, they could not otherwise have had. 
It removed impediments that had long subsisted — ^it 
opened a way for improvement, that though often 
wished for, could not but with the assistance of this 
method be attempted ; and it converted into value 
and use, lands and timber that would otherwise have 
produced nothing. To the inhabitants of the colonies, 
therefore, there could be nothing more satisfactory — 
hardly anything so advantageous. But though this is 
saying a great deal, yet it is not all. 

"As salutary and as profitable as this measure 
might be, considered in these distinct lights, yet its 
worth was heightened, its importance raised, and its 
utility demonstrated from another consideration, which 
was, its uniting the mother country and her daughters 
in those points of interest which ought to be emi- 
nently dear to both. At the same time that it freed 
Great Britain from depending upon foreigners, it 
made her sensibly feel the support she received from 
her plantations ; and while the colonies, reaped a just 
return of profit from this assistance, they were, at the 
game time more closely connected, and taught to 

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discover the strong and inseparable ties by which 
they were bound to the mother country. These 
were the undeniable consequences of Captain Coram's 
project, and which will do eternal honour to his 
memory : they were the true and only motives to 
that ardour with which he pursued it Enthusiasm 
was natural to his constitution ; but it was a political 
enthusiasm of the most noble kind — it was that of 
laying out all his faculties for the public good. 

''But we must not imagine that this gentleman's 
knowledge of and love for the colonies carried him, 
in any degree, out of that path which a true Briton 
ought to tread. He loved the daughters dearly ; but 
he loved them as daughters, and therefore could not 
brook the least disrespect or disobedience in them 
towards their parent. The hatters, a very industrious 
and a very useful body of our manufacturers, thought 
themselves, with reason, aggrieved by the method 
taken, in some of the plantations, to interfere with 
their trade at foreign markets. Captain Coram no 
sooner heard of this complaint, than he examined it 
attentively, and impartially, and when he perceived 
that it was founded in right, he espoused it with 
spirit, he prosecuted it with diligence, and he obtained 
for that laborious and indefatigable people all the 
redress they could expect. They would have acknow- 
ledged this service by a grateful and handsome return; 
but Captain Coram had a notion, that if a man's hands 
were not empty, they could not long be clean : he had 
a just sense of their gratitude, but did not care to 
have it expressed by any other present than that of 

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a hat, which he received as often as he had occasion, 
and, which in its size, spoke the good wishes of the 
makers in a very legible character. 

"In his private life, this gentleman showed the 
same probity, the same cheerfulness, the same frank- 
ness, the same warmth, and the same aflFection that 
he discovered in matters which respected the public ; 
so that, as a master and as a husband, he acted 
upon the same principles that he would have certainly 
shown if he had been raised to any conspicuous station 
of life. It is necessary to mention this, that the 
uniformity of his conduct may appear, which is the 
truest method of judging of men's real characters, so 
as to leave no scruple or doubt upon the minds even 
of the most cautious enquirers. Beheld in this light, 
there could not well be conceived a man of greater 
simpUcity of manners. What he thought, he spoke ; 
what he wished, he declared without hesitation, 
pursued without relaxation or disguise, and never 
considered obstacles any farther than to discover 
means to surmount them. 

" While he lived in that part of this metropolis 
which is the common residence of seafaring people, 
he used to come early into the city, and return late, 
according as his business required his presence ; 
and both these circumstances aflforded him frequent 
occasions of seeing young children exposed, sometimes 
alive, sometimes dead, and sometimes dying, which 
affected him extremely. The reader cannot wonder at 
this ; for a public-spirited man is always humane : and 
he who is inclined to wear out his life in rendering 

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services to his fellow-subjects, will naturally have the 
most tender feeling for the sufferings of his fellow- 
creatures. This was precisely Mr. Coram's case : he 
saw this calamity in its proper light, and, like an 
honest and worthy man, thought it would do honour 
to the nation to show a public spirit of compassion 
for children thus deserted, through the indigence or 
cruelty of their parents, and the rather because this 
was already done in other countries. 

'' He began, in respect to this design, as he did 
in all others, with making it the topic of his conver- 
sation, that he might learn the sentiments of other 
men, and from thence form some notion whether 
what he had in view was practicable. It was not 
long before he concluded in the aflfenative, and, upon 
frequent trials, he found that there were numbers of 
all ranks of his sentiments, and not a few who thought 
it a shame, that a charity so obvious, so useful, and so 
necessary, should have been so long neglected. This 
pleased him extremely, and he undertook, with the 
greatest alacrity possible, to bring so noble, so benefi- 
cent, so charitable, so national, and so christian an 
undertaking to bear, by procuring for it the sanction 
of public authority. But, alas ! he found his expecta- 
tions strangely disappointed by an infinity of cross 
accidents that would certainly have wearied out the 
patience of a man whose resolution had not been equal 
to the vehemence of his temper. To this circumstance 
Mr. Coram opposed an unrelenting perseverance, aris- 
ing from a well-founded persuasion, that if the design 
was not carried into execution by him, it might for 

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a long time, perhaps for ever, remain abortive. 

"This laudable, this invincible obstinacy, carried 
him through seventeen years of labour, which scarce 
any other man would have supported for seventeen 
months, if his own private fortune had been the basis 
of his pursuit. In this space, the opinion of the 
public had been frequently declared on his side ; and 
several persons of sound sense and enlarged minds 
actually bequeathed considerable sums to this charity, 
when it should have a legal authority, which was the 
highest testimony they could possibly bear of their 
sense of its utility. Our advocate for the helpless and 
the unborn left no stone unturned, let no opportunity 
slip, but continued to solicit where he had no interest, 
with as much ardour and anxiety as if every deserted 
child had been his own, and the cause of the un- 
founded Hospital that of his family. His arguments 
moved some — the natural humanity of their own 
temper more — his firm but generous example most 
of all ; and even people of rank began to be ashamed 
to see a man's hair become grey in the course of a 
solicitation by whiqh he was to get nothing. Those 
who did not enter far enough into the case to com- 
passionate the unhappy infants for whom he was a 
suitor, could not help pitying him, or indeed forbear 
admiring a virtue so much more worthy of respect, 
considering the age in which it was exerted — a virtue 
which would have done honour to the most virtuous 
nations in the most virtuous periods — a virtue that 
made an impression even on such as thought it in- 
comprehensible. But however it was, an impression 

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it made, and a general disposition appeared in favour 
of this charity. It is, however, doubtful what eflEect 
this would have had, or how soon that eflfect might 
have been produced, if it had any. 

"But this good man, whose head was fertile in 
expedients, bethought himself at last of appljring to 
the ladies. He knew their nature, he knew their in- 
fluence, and soon found that he was in the right road. 
They did not listen much to his arguments, for the 
sweetness of their own tempers supplied a tenderness 
that rendered arguments unnccessar}^ They con- 
curred with Mr. Coram in his design, and they con- 
curred in his own way. They were earnest, assiduous, 
and sincere, and manifested a greater eagerness to 
do good than the most self-interested dare avow in 
pursuits upon their own account. This answered its 
end ; and by the help of these auxiliaries, Mr. Coram 
was enabled to procure a charter, to prevent the most 
infamous of all murders, because the most unnatural, 
and which will supply thousands of useful subjects to 
the crown of Great Britain — a charter which did 
honour to the great seal, and spoke, in a literal sense, 
that prince whose stamp it bore — the father of his 
people, as he was before confessed in every other sense 

"On Tuesday, November 20th, 1739, was held at 
Somerset House, the first general meeting of the 
nobility and gentry, appointed by his Majesty's Royal 
charter to be Governors and Guardians of the Hospital 
for the maintenance and education of exposed and 
deserted young children, to hear their charter read, 

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and to appoint their Secretary and a Committee. 
Previous to the reading of the charter, Captain 
Coram, the petitioner for the charter, addressed his 
Grace the Duke of Bedford, the President, in the 
following manner : — 

« ^My Lord Duke of Bedford, 
'It is with inexpressible pleasure I now present 
your Grace, at the head of this noble and honourable 
corporation, with his Majesty's royal charter, for 
establishing an Hospital for exposed children, free 
of all expense, through the assistance of some com- 
passionate great ladies, and other good persons. 

* I can, my lord, sincerely aver, that nothing would 
have induced me to embark in a design so full of 
difficulties and discouragements, but a zeal for thdS- 
service of his Majesty, in preserving the lives of great / 
numbers of his innocent subjects. 

* The long and melancholy experience of this nation ^ 
has too demonstrably shewn, with what barbarity / 
tender infants have been exposed and destroyed, for 
want of proper means of preventing the disgrace^ and 
succouring the necessities of their parents. 

* The charter will disclose the extensive nature and 
end of this Charity, in much stronger terms than I 
can possibly pretend to describe them, so that I have 
only to thank your Grace and many other noble 
personages, for all that favourable protection which 
hath given life and spirit to my endeavours. 

* My Lord, although my declining years will not 
permit me to hope seeing the full accomplishment of 

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my wishes, yet I can now rest satisfied, and it is what 
I esteem an ample reward of more than seventeen 
years expensive labour and steady application, that I 
see your Grace at the head of this charitable trust, 
assisted by so many noble and honourable Governors. 

* Under such powerful influences and directions, I 
am confident of the final success of my endeavours, 
and that the public will one day reap the happy and 
lasting fruits of your Grace's and this Corporation's 
measures, and as long as my life and poor abilities 
endure, I shall not abate of my zealous wishes and 
most active services for the good and prosperity of 
this truly noble and honourable Corporation/ 

" After the charter was read. Dr. Mead, in the most 
pathetic manner, set forth the necessity of such an , 
Hospital, and the vast advantages that must accrue 
to the nation by this useful establishment, which 
was received with universal approbation, because 
nobody could entertain the least doubt of the truth 
or certainty of what the Doctor said. 

" At a subsequent Court, the same learned person 
moved, that the thanks of the Corporation might be 
given to Mr. Thomas Coram, for his indefatigable 
and successful applications in favour of this charity, 
which otherwise would have wanted a legal founda- 
tion. It may be easily supposed, that the good old 
man was not insensible on receiving the only reward 
of which his labours were capable. But he was just, as 
well as generous, and would not take more to himself 
than he deserved. He therefore desired that the 
thanks of the Corporation might be likewise given 

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to the ladies,''^ through whose assistance his own 
endeavours became effectual, and he was accordingly 
empowered to return them the thanks of that honour- 
able body, which was an additional pleasure to a mind 
sincere and grateful like his. 

" Time and accidents could make but little altera- 
tion in his temper. The motives from which he first 
espoused this charity, kept him always attached to 
its interests ; he often visited the Hospital, and saw 
the children rescued from misery by his care and 
compassion, with as much pleasure and tenderness as 
if they had been his own, as indeed in some sense they 
were. He beheld the lists of benefactors with more 
pleasure than a miser regards those of his securities. 
He had the same delight in perceiving the quick 
progress of this excellent establishment, as a man 
of another turn would have felt from the improvement 
of his own estate. This was peculiar to his character 
—this was the ruling passion of his mind— this was 
the elixir that kept him from feeling the frowns of 
fortune in the winter of his age. Wrapt in that cloak 
of public spirit, which, though worn for so many 
years, never grew threadbare, he heard those storms 
whistle around him, unmoved, which would have 

* Even in the case of the << ladies" he had sometimes to encounter diffi- 
onlties. Attached to a memorial addressed "To H.E.H. the Princess 
Amelia/' now lodged at the Hospital, is the following note :^- 

«• On Innocents' Day, the 28th of December, 1737, I went to St. James's 
Palace to present thid petition, having been advised first to address the lady 
of the bedchamber in waiting to introduce it. Bnt the Lady Isabella Finch, 
who was the lady in waiting, gave me very rough words, and bid me gone 
with my petition, which I did, without opportunity of presenting it," 

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frighted a person of ordinary courage out of his wits. 

" For the truth is, honest reader, and I must not 
conceal it, that this worthy man, who could feel so 
much for others, felt but little for himself. After he 
lost his wife, the only loss for which he ever showed 
much regret, he was so attentive to public affairs, as 
to be a little too careless of his own, insomuch, that he 
might have known even this evil, which no man could 
have known, while it was in his power to relieve. 
But his friend Mr. Gideon, who loved him for loving 
the public, interposed, and obtained a subscription for 
his comfortable support, towards which. His Boyal 
Highness the late Prince of Wales subscribed twenty 
guineas per annum, and paid it with as much punctu- 
ality as any of the rest of the subscribers, who were 
most of them merchants; and upon this friendly 
assistance which he lived to want, but not to ask, he 
subsisted for some time, which gave him an opportunity 
to form new schemes of the same kind with those he 
had executed ah'eady ; schemes full of goodness, and 
which had a tendency to spread the influence of 
Britain, and to expand the nation's glory in a like 

"The reader may be surprised — and indeed his 
surprise will be very excusable — that a person whose 
worth and services were so well known should be 
left to such distress, and that in a country where the 
public pays so much to place-men, no notice should 
be taken of a man who deserved a place so well as 
Mr. Coram did. But first of all it must be considered, 
that though the public discharge the expense of many, 

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yet their choice is asked in filling very few places. 
Our hero had, indeed, very great qualities, but they 
were far from being well turned for anything of this 
kind. He who had spent his life in soliciting for 
others, could not speak a word for himself. It is, 
therefore, no wonder that he was not provided for. 
Dumb men are not fit for places. But if the reader 
enquires why he did not speak, the answer may not 
be diflBcult. Men of true public spirit, are of all 
others, the most ashamed to ask private favours. In 
others it would be pride, in them it is the effect of 
principle. It may be said, then, a place should have 
been given him. To this there can be no reply ; yet, 
perhaps, it may be some excuse to say, that, while a 
multitude of claims are put in for every place, we 
have no reason to be amazed, that a man who would 
never ask should always be forgot. 

" But Providence provided for him, and he had a 
comfortable subsistence to the last, by a method that 
he did not, nor indeed could take amiss. He was 
maintained by the voluntary subscription'^ of men of 
public spirit ; this was an honour to them, and an 
honour to him. Had his distress been generally 
known, he might no doubt, have been more amply 

* On Dr. Brocklesby applying to Captain Coram, to know whether a 
Bubscription being opened for his benefit wonld not offend him, he reoeived 
this noble answer : — « I have not wasted the little wealth of which I was 
formerly possessed in self-indulgence and vain expenses, and am not 
ashamed to confess that, in this my old age, I am poor.'* 

Upon the death of Coram, this pension was continued to poor old Leve- 
ridge, for whose volume of songs Hogarth had, in 1727, engraved a title- 
page and frontispiece, and who, at the age of ninety, had scarcely any 
gther prospect than that of a parish subsistence.-— 7o/in Ireland, 

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provided for; but this t^as what he did not want, 
and what he would never seek. He was content 
with a little — ^pleased with being his own master, 
and with having the liberty to employ his thoughts, 
to the end of his life, in the same manner that they 
had been employed from the beginning — in contriving 
for the public benefit ; for whatever his circumstances 
were, his heart could never be narrow. 

" His last design, now left an orphan to the public 
care, which it well deserves, was a scheme for uniting 
the Indians in North America more closely to the 
British interest, by an establishment for the education 
of Indian girls. This is, indeed, a very political 
contrivance ; for if the girls be brought up in Christian 
principles, we have just grounds to hope — indeed, we 
have no reason to doubt — that the Indian children, of 
both sexes, in the next generation, will be brought up 
Christians, This would be a refined stroke of policy ; 
for he is the wisest and ablest of all politicians who, 
by promoting the glory of God, interests the Divine 
Provideuce in extending the power of any nation. 
We know in how wonderful a manner the gospel 
was propagated, and we may confidently expect, that 
when this is sincerely the aim of any government, the 
same assistance will not be wanting : for whatever 
men may do, the great Author of all things never 
alters his maxims, and to follow them is the most 
infallible method of securing, might we not say 
commanding, success. May this charitable and pious 
purpose, in which he lived long enough to make some 
progress, be completed in virtue of his proposal ; and 

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let the benighted Indians in America join with the 
deserted Foundlings in Britain in blessing the memory 
of this worthy man, by which a provision was made 
that they should come to the knowledge of truth, and 
of the means of making themselves happy here by 
their industry, and by their piety hereafter. 

" If it had been in our power to have taken notice 
of all the other instances he gave of beneficence, 
fortitude, and love for society, which are the true 
virtues of a patriot, this little work would swell to 
a volume. What is here said, therefore, must be 
regarded as an imperfect and hasty sketch of his 
character, which however may, from its intention, 
rather than performance, be agreeable to his friends, 
and may perhaps serve, in some measure, to excite 
in others a desire of imitating so amiable an example ; 
for who that has any respect for virtue, any appetite 
to laudable and spotless fame — the noblest purchase 
that human industry can make — can be insensible to 
that just and general concern which the best and 
worthiest men in this metropolis have shown for the 
loss of Captain Coram, or that readiness with which 
they have expressed their approbation of his conduct, 
and the voluntary testimonies they have given to his 
merit and services. These are things that will affect 
those who are above the common pursuits of the 
world, who seek not either tinsel grandeur or the 
embarrassment of riches, but yet are far from leading 
a life of indolence, or disclaiming all pretensions to 
that glory which is so properly the reward of virtue, 
that it can attend to nothing else. 

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" This singular and memorable man exchanged this 
life for a better, and passed from doing to enjoying 
good, on Friday, March 29th, 1761, in the four-score 
and fourth year of his age, making it his last request, 
that his corpse might be interred in the Chapel of the 
Foundling HospitaJ, which shows he had that excellent 
foundation at his heart, when all things that regarded 
this world besides were out of his thoughts — ^a 
circumstance that demonstrates the steadiness of his 
aflfection, and the happiness he had of what he had 
done for this place, when he was on the point of going 
where pious and charitable actions afford the highest 
recommendations— where his merit in that and other 
respects will be fully known and fully rewarded. 

''Accordingly, on Wednesday, the 3rd of April, 
agreeable to his request, his remains were interred 
in the Chapel of this Hospital, his pall supported by 
six, and his funeral attended by a great number of 
the honourable and worthy persons who are Governors 
of this useful charity, and who manifested upon this 
melancholy occasion, that sincere regard for the 
deceased, and the pleasure they took in paying this 
deserved respect to his memory — a ceremony which, 
joined to the high reputation and numerous ac- 
quaintance of the deceased, could not have failed 
of attracting abundance of public-spirited persons, 
desirous of giving this last mark of their esteeln 
for a man of Mr. Coram's worth, and who, through 
the progress of a long life, had shown himself a 
laudable as well as active member of society. 

" But the concourse was much increased, and the 

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solemnity of the funeral greatly heightened, by the 
voluntary appearance of the choir of St. Paul's 
Cathedral, who were at the Hospital, ready in their 
surplices to receive the body, and who performed, 
with the universal approbation of a crowded and 
distinguished audience, a grave and noble piece of 
music, suitable to the sad occasion, and which, with 
the genuine testimonies of sorrow, not to be sup- 
pressed, did all the honour to this good man that 
even the piety and aflfection of his friends could 
expect. The Governors of the Hospital have it also 
in their intention to raise a suitable monument, 
though indeed, the Hospital itself may be so styled, 
that posterity may be the better acquainted with 
his virtues, and their gratitude. 

"Let me be permitted to conclude, with what 
may add some degree of merit to this little piece, 
deficient enough in other respects, the words made 
use of by a friend of his, in the paragraph which 
gave the first hint to this performance, and which 
is, indeed, a true character of Mr. Thomas Coram 
in a very few words : — 

" ^That when others are remembered by titles and 
adulatioTis^ his shall be nobler fame to have lived 
above the fear of everything but an unworthy action,* ^ 

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The following Inscription, cut in stone, is placed 
in the southern arcade of the Chapel : — 


whose luune will never want a monument 

BO long aa this Hospital shall subsist, 

was bom in the year 1668 ; 

a man eminent in the most eminent yirtne, 

the love of mankind ; 

little attentive to his private fortune, 

and refusing many opportonities of increasing it, 

his time and thoughts were oontinnally employed 

in endeavours to promote the public happiness, 

both in this kingdom and elsewhere ; 
particularly in the Colonies of North America ; 
and his endeavours were many times crowned 
with the desired success. 
His unwearied solicitation, for above seventeen years together 
(which would have baffled the patience and industry 
of any man less lealous in doing good), 
and his application to persons of distinction, of both sexes, 
obtained at length the Charter of the Incorporation 
(bearing date the 17th of October, 17S9), 

for the maintenance and education 

of exposed and deserted young children, 

by which many thousands of lives 

may be preserved to the public, and employed in a frugal 

and honest course of industry. 

He died the 29th March, 1751, in the 84th year of his age ; 

poor in worldly estate, rich in good works : 

and was buried at his own desire, in the Vault underneath this 

Chapel (the first there deposited) at the east end thereof, 

many of the Governors and other gentlemen 

attending the funeral to do honour to his memory. 


Thy actions will show whether thou art sincere 

in the praises thou may'st bestow on him ; 

and if thou hast virtue enough to commend his virtues, 

forget not to add also the intimation of them." 

There is in front of the Hospital a fine Statue 
of the Founder, 


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The first admission of Children took place in 1741, 
under the following advertisement : — 

"To-morrow, at eight o'clock in the evening, this 
house will be opened for the reception of twenty- 
children, under the following regulations : — 

" No child exceeding the age of two months will be 
taken in, nor such as have the evil, leprosy, or disease 
of the like nature, whereby the health of the other 
children may be endangered; for the discovery whereof 
every child is to be inspected as soon as it is brought, 
and the person who brings it is to come in at the 
outward door and ring a bell at the inward door, 
and not go away imtil the child is returned or 
notice given of its reception ; but no questions 
whatever will be asked of any person who brings a 
child, nor shall any servant of the house presume to 
endeavour to discover who such person is, on pain 
of being discharged. 

"All persons who bring children are requested to 
aflBx on each child some particular writing, or other 
distinguishing mark or token, so that the children may 
be known hereafter if necessary/' 

These receptions of children took place occasionally 
in the same manner, and were necessarily regulated 
by the funds of the Hospital, which being derived 
from private subscriptions and legacies of benevolent 
individuals only, were of course limited. 

As the Hospital became more generally known, it 

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will readily be supposed that the applications for 
admission greatly increased, so that_there._.T?effi.J 
frequently one hundred women at the door.Khsn 
twenty children only could be xeceived. This gave-— 
rise to the disgraceful scene of women scrambling and 
fighting to get to the door, that they might be of the 
fortunate few to reap the benefit of the Asylum. / — ^ 

To obviate this evil a new method was adopted, by 
which all women bringing children were admitted into 
the court-room, and there sat on benches, with strict 
orders not to stir from their seats. Then, as many 
white balls as there were children to be taken in, with 
five red balls for every twenty children to be received, 
and so in proportion for any greater or less number : 
and as many black balls, as with the white and red, 
were equal to the number of women present, were put 
into a bag or box, which was handed round to the 
women : each woman who drew a white ball was sent , . 
with her child to the inspecting-room, that it might \ o"^ 
undergo the usual examination. Every woman who 
drew a black ball was immediately turned out of the 
house with her infant ; and every woman who drew a 
rediball was f akenT with her child, into another Tdom, 
there to remain until the examination of the children 
JoFwKbm white balls were drawn was ended, and if, on 
such examination, any of those children were rejected, 
for reasons stated in the public notice, ballots were 
taken, after a similar manner for filling up the vacancies, 
till the whole number was completed. This plan, it is 
true, prevented the disgraceful scenes described; but a 
charity so unguardedly dispensed as to the selection of 

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its objects, could not but open the door to fraud and 
abuse of the worst description. We know that no 
human institution, however cautiously managed, can be 
wholly free from abuse ; some daring Clodius will 
always be foimd to pollute the mysteries, let the house 
be ever so careftiUy watched. If this be true in 
ordinary cases, surely it must have required more than 
common caution in setting on foot an asylum, the 
opening of which, if not carefully effected, would let 
loose as many evils as ever issued from Pandora's box. 
This was evidently felt by Captain Coram himself who, 
in the memorial which he presented to George the 
Second, as a recommendation of his design, throws out 
the cautionary suggestion, — that its success could only 
be insured, ^^provided due and proper care he taken for 
setting on foot so necessary an establishment.^' He no 
sooner found, therefore, that the managers were acting 
upon a principle which furnished no guarantee for 
the effectual operation of the charity, namely, — 
receiving children without establishing any test by 
which the merits of each case could be ascertained, 
than he opposed their proceedings ; but after repeated 
admonition, finding his advice disregarded by the 
majority of the Committee, he left the management of 
the Institution altogether in their hands. ''^ 

The system above referred to continued for a period 

* Of the particular canse of disagreement between Captain Coram and 
the managing Committee there is no record. The following extract from 
the will of Anthony Allen, Esq., dated 1753, shows, however, that the 
Founder was supported in his objections to their proceedings by one, at 
least, of his friends : 

« And whereas many years before the obtaining the royal charter f pr t^e 

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of fifteen years, viz. :— from 1741 to 1756, during 
which, 1384 children were received, or, upon an average, 
ninety-two annually. 

The managers, however, looked forward all along 
to the time when they should be able to open their 
Hospital upon the most unrestricted plan, and many 
were the abortive schemes suggested for the acquirement 
of wealth to enable them to do so; but it was obvious, 
that no power or means, except Parliamentary, could 
be devised for effectually meeting the object. To 
Parliament, therefor^, the Governors appealed, having 
previously ascertained that George the Second had a 
good feeling towards their design. The following 
resolutions of the House of Commons, of the 6th 
April, 1756, sufficiently prove the success with which 
the application was attended : — 

"That the enabling the Hospital for the maintenance 
and education of exposed and deserted young children 
to receive all the children that shall be offered, is the 
only method to render that charitable institution of 
lasting and general utility. 

Hospital for exposed and deserted young children, I did, at the instance 
of that indefatigable schemist, Captain Thomas Coram, really intend some 
considerable benefaction towards carrying on so good a project, and did 
encourage the concurrence of other liberal benefactors, till some of the 
acting Gorernors and Guardians of the said Hospital went counter to our 
judgments and proposal pressed upon them by the said Coram, on several 
occasions, which made me withhold my hand, saving the sum of sixteen 
guineas I advanced as necessity urged, from time to time, towards the 
immediate subsistence of the said Mr. Coram, who had exhausted his whole 
substance in soliciting that charter during about seventeen years, never 
meeting any relief from the said Hospital, I now will that £200, besides 
the said £16 I65. so paid, be given to the use of the said Hospital, within 
two years after my decease, in lieu of all claims and pretensions the s^i^ 
£[ospital ma^ make on that i^core," 

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*' That to render the said Hospital of lasting and 
general utility, the assistance of Parliament is 

"That to render the said Hospital of general utility 
and eflfect, it should be enabled to appoint proper 
places in all counties, ridings, or divisions of this 
kingdom, for the reception of all exposed and deserted 
young children." 

Added to these resolutions, a guarantee was given 
by Parliament that it would provide the means, by 
liberal grants of money, to enable the Governors to 
carry out this extensive scheme of charity. 

A basket was accordingly hung outside of the 
gates of the Hospital, and an advertisement publicly 
announced, that all children under the age of two 
L^onths, tendered for admission, would be received. 
.-- In pursuance of which, on the 2nd June, 1756, 
being the first day of general reception, 117 children 
were given up to the fostering care of the state !"**" 

♦ " I well remember the transaction of the first general taking-in-day, 
the 2nd of June, when we received 117 children. The whole month pro- 
duced 425, all of them supposed not to be above two months old ; for that 
was the age limited. The next year (1757) £30,000 was voted, and we set 
out by extending the age to six months. From this period the age was 
extended to twelve months, not with a desire to receive more children than 
before, but in order to let people understand, that, if they would take care 
of their children in the most dangerous part of life, they might be received 
afterwards, hereby acknowledging what indeed is very obvious, that there 
was much less danger at the mother's own breast, than at any other 
woman's. This demonstrated the zeal of the Governors for the cause of 
humanity and the welfare of the public j and it seemed to be very right, 
except that the common people in the country seeing us add four months 
to the two, and then six months to make up twelve, might ^conceive, that 
we meant to take all their Children off their hands,"— Jana« Eomway, 

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Though the Governors of the charity, in anticipation 
of parochial interference, had armed themselves with 
the special power of the law for their protection, yet 
they discovered that no authority, however great, 
could prevent pariah oflBcers from emptying their 
workhouses of the infant poor, and transferring them 
to this general sanctuary provided by government. Had 
they stopped here, the morality of their conduct would 
not, perhaps, have been questioned ; but it was the 
frequent practice of these daring authorities, sometimes 
in conjunction with the brutal father, to rob the poor 
mother of her new-born infant whilst she was in a 
state of helplessness from the effects of her recent 
confinement, and to convey it to the Hospital, that they 
might be rid of the burden of maintaining it. The 
scenes which daily occurred at the asylum from this 
circumstance, would have moved the stoutest heart. 

The managers did all they could to prevent this 
infamous practice, by prosecuting the delinquents, 
but the motive was too strong to be put down ; it 
continued in spite of their efforts. 

When a Foundling Hospital was established in 
Paris, in the year 1640, its objects were limited to 
the children found exposed in that city, and its suburbs; 
and it was understood by those who furthered a similar 
design in this country, that its operations would, in the 
same manner, be confined to London and its environs. 
But benefits so tempting being irresistible to persons 
in country towns, they were determined to share with 
the good people of London, a privilege which they 
considered common to all. " There is set up in our 

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Corporation*' (writes a correspondent from a town 
three hundred miles distant, in one of the chronicles 
of the day), "a new and uncommon trade, namely, the 
conveying children to the Foundling Hospital. The 
person employed in this trade is a woman of notoriously 
bad character. She undertakes the carrying of these 
children at so much per head. She has, I am told, 
made one trip already ; and is now set upon her journey 
with two of her daughters, each with a child on her 
back/' The writer then very properly suggests that it 
ought to be ascertained '* whether or not these poor 
infants do really arrive at their destination, or what 
becomes of them.'' That such an inquiry was necessary 
there is no doubt ; — the sequel will prove it. 

At Monmouth, a person was tried for the murder 
of his child, which was found drowned with a stone 
about its neck! when the prisoner proved that he 
delivered it to a travelling tinker, who received a 
guinea from him to carry it to the Hospital. Nay, 
it was publicly asserted in the House of Commons, 
that one man who had the charge of five infants in 
baskets, happened in his journey to get intoxicated, 
and lay all night asleep on a common ; and in the 
morning he found three of five children he had 
in charge actually dead ! Also, that of eight infants 
brought out of the country at one time in a waggon, 
seven died before it reached London : the surviving 
child owing its life to the solicitude of its mother; 
who rather than commit it alone to the carrier, followed 
the waggon on foot, occasionally affording her infant 
^\{^ ^o^ris^^me^t it recjuired, 

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It was further stated that a man on horseback, 
going to London with luggage in two panniers, was 
overtaken at Highgate, and being asked what he had 
in his panniers, answered, "I have two children 
in each : I brought them jfrom Yorkshire for the 
Foundling Hospital, and used to have eight guineas 
a trip; but lately another man has set up against 
me, which has lowered my price." 

This practice of transporting chUdren from remote 
towns was condemned by a distinct resolution of the 
House of Commons, and a Bill was ordered to be 
brought in to prevent it; but this Bill was never 
presented, so that the parish officers and otheirs still, 
continued to carry on their illicit trade, by delivering 
children to vagrants, who, for a small snm of money, 
undertook the task of conveying them to the Hospital, 
although they were in no condition to take care of 
them, whereby numbers perished for want, or were' 
otherwise destroyed ; and even in cases where childreq 
were really left at the Hospital the barbarous wretched 
who had the conveying of them, not content with 
the gratuity they received, stript the poor infants of 
their clothing into the bargain, leaving them naked 
in the basket at the Hospital gate.* 

A system so void of all order and discretion, must 
necessarily have occasioned many difficulties : for 

* The following is a strong instance of the vicissitudes of life : — Some 
years since, an aged Banker in the north of England, received into the 
Hospital at the above period, was desirous of becoming acquainted with his 
origin, when, all the information afforded by the books of the establishment 
Was^ that he was put into a basket at the gate naked* 

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instance, it frequently happened, that persons who sent 
their children to the Hospital, having nothing to prove 
their reception, were ffuspected, or, if not suspected, 
where charged by their malevolent neighbours with 
destroying them, and were consequently cited before a 
magistrate of the district to shew to the contrary. This 
they could only do by procuring an examination of the 
Hospital registers ; and the Governors were frequently 
called upon for certificates of the fact, before the party 
could be released. This inconvenience was, however, 
afterwards obviated, by the practice of giving a bUlet 
to each person who brought a child, acknowledging 
its reception. 

But the difiiculty which presented itself paramount 
to all others, related to the manner in which so great a 
number of children was to be reared. In the first year 
of this indiscriminate admission, the number received 
was 3,296 ; in the second year, 4,085 ; in the third, 
4,229 ; and during less than ten months of the fourth 
year (after which the system of indiscriminate reception 
was abolished), 3,324. Thus, in this short period, no 
less than 14,934 infants were cast on the compassionate 
protection of the public ! It necessarily became a 
question how the lives of this army of infants could be 
best preserved,; and the Governors not beicg able to 
settle this point among themselves, addressed certain 
queries to the College of Physicians, which were 
promptly answered, by recommending a course of 
treatment consonant to nature and common senee ! 
Children deprived as these were of their natural 
aliment, required more than usual watchfulness ; and 

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although, on a small scale, the providing a number of 
healthy wet-nurses as substitutes for the mothers of 
infants would have been an easy task, yet, when they 
arrived in numbers so considerable, the Governors 
found that the object they had in view must necessarily 
fail from its very magnitude. 

It has been truly said, that the frail tenure by which 
an infant holds its life, will not allow of a remitted 
attention even for a few hours : who, therefore, will be 
surprised, after hearing under what circumstances most 
of these poor children were left at the Hospital gate, 
that, instead of being a protection to the living, the 
institution became, as it were, a charnel-house for the 
dead t It is a notorious fact, that many of the infants 
received at the gate, did not live to be carried into the 
wards of the building ; and from the impossibility of 
procuring a suflBcient number of proper nurses, the 
emaciated and diseased state in which many of these 
children were brought to the Hospital, and the 
malconduct of some of those to whose care they were 
committed (notwithstanding these nurses were under 
the superintendence of certain ladies— sistersof charity), 
the deaths amongst them were so frequent, that of the 
14,934 received, only 4400 lived to be apprenticed / 
out, being a mortality of more than seventy per cent J 
Thus was tha institution (conducted on a plan so wild 
and chimerical, and so widely diflferent from its original 
design), found to be diseased in its very vitals. The 
avowed object of saving life was frustratedHby a variety 
of contingent circumstances ; and the permanent and 
two-fold benefit of which it was intended to have been 

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the instrument, under the regulations contemplated by 
the Founder, was set aside by a system of fraud and 
abuse which entailed on the public an immense 
annual expenditure,* without even one good result. To 
establish a market for vice to carry on her profligate 
trade without let or hindrance ; to arrest the first 
step towards repentance of one yet in the infancy of 
crime, by pointing out the way in which she might 
perpetuate her guilt with impunity ; to break the 
beautiful chain of the aflFections which characterizes 
mankind as social beings, by giving general license to 
parents to desert their oflFspring, upon the barbarous 
plea that they cannot easily maintain them ; to 
wink as it were, at fraud, by showing how designing 
persons might dispose of children entrusted to their 
guardianship, and prevent a discovery of their guilty 
acts : these were some of the evils which were realised 
in the early proceedings of the Governors, from want 
of attention to the cautionary suggestion of the 
Founder, to " take due and proper care in setting on 
foot so necessary an establishment/^ 

But the state of things described could not possibly 

• The total expense was abont £500,000! Several propositions were 
made for ridding the country of the bnrthen, and amongst them the 
following: — " His Majesty having recommended the case of the Foundling 
Hospital to the House of Commons which cheefuUy granted £40,000, for 
the support of that charity, the growing annual expense of it appeared 
worthy of further consideration, and leave was granted to bring in a bill 
for obliging all the parishes of England and Wales to keep registers of all 
their deaths, births, and marriages, that from these a fund might be raised 
towards the support of the said [Hospital. The bill was accordingly pre- 
pared by a committee appointed for the purpose, but before the House 
could take the report into consideration, the Parliament was prorogued." — 

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last long, except in a community lost to all decency 
and order. No sooner, therefore, did those who had 
promoted 'a system fraught with so much mischief, 
discover the error they had committed, than they 
wished to retrace their steps : — the moralist^enlisted 
his pen in a cause which he found was endangered 
by its continuance, and naerj^stepped forward to 
arrest the destroying hana of death, to whose ven- 
geance so many infants bad been doomed, under the 
sanction of this unwise administration of the charity ; 
and at length Parliament, which, by its inadvertence, 
had promoted the evil, annulled its sanction thereto, by 
declaring — That the indiscriminate axlmission of all 
children under a certain age into the Hospital, had 
been attended with many evil consequences^ and that it 
he discontinued. 

After the House of Commons had passed the 
resolution which annulled the practice of receiving 
children in such an unguarded and indiscriminate 
manner, the (Jovemors were left to adopt what they 
conceived to be the views of the Founder, and to 
place the Institution upon that basis of prudential 
charity on which it now stands. 

ToTcens. — It will be seen, that one of the regulations 
at the outset was, that persons leaving children should 
"aflfix on them some particular writing, or other 
distinguishing mark or token/' These tokens are of 
diflferent classes : — 

1st. — Coins of various periods of English history, and 
many foreign, almost invariably of silver or copper. 

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On some of them the name and date of the birth of 
the child is engraved, and there are besides several 
metal devices. 

2nd. — ^Trinkets, &c., of various kinds. 

3rd. — Pieces of printed cotton and specimens of ribbon. 
This class of token is the most common of the whole. 

The miscellaneous tokens consist of monograms, 
children's caps, and here and there a child's caul. 

In 1757, a lottery ticket was given in with a child, 
but whether it turned up a prize or a blank is not 

In some instances the means of identity are in the 
form of scraps, such as the following. They are copied 

« BeatuB est qui inteUigit super Egenum et panperem ; 
tempore mali liberabit enm Jehora. 
Nam pater mens et mater mea derelinqunnt me, 
sed Jehova recipiet me." 

" Vale, forte in eetemnm vale, O ohara 
Soboles inter emspiria lachrymaBqne Parentnm, 
Panperie non indeoora nrgente, brachiis, onree, 
hnmanitati hnjnB Hoi^tii nono dedita.'* 

« liarons Brntne Cromwell, 
natns erat premio die Deoembris AJ)., 1757, il est 
marqne aveo nn pen de ronge dans le coin de son 
oiel ganohe." 

** Neeesfiitas non habet Legee." 

" Kec amicns, nee inimicns." 

<* B'Sapientia Veni Lnmen Cordinm.'' 

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** SnooeMiu aitendre iaeV* 

" Si tibi onra mei, Sit tibi oora tni.' 

<< Si ■plaoit, nomen esto hojoB pnellal»— " 
" Pablioft Cnra prodifl." 

In other cases the token is in the character of verse 
or rhyme, for instance : — 

« Oo gentle babe, thy fatnre life be spent 
In yirtnonB parity, and calm content ; 
Life's sunshine bless thee, and no anxious oare 
Sit on thy brow, and draw the falling tear ; 
Thy oonntry's grateful servant may'st thou prove 
And all thy life be happiness and lore." 

*<Pray ose me well, and yon shall find 
My father will not prove unkind 
Unto that nurse who's my protector. 
Because he is a benefactor." 

« Pity the offlipring of a Youthftil pair, 
Whom folly taught, and Pleasure did Ensnare ; 
Let the poor Babe, its parents fault atone 
Stand you its friend, or else it is undone ! 

« Hard is my lot in deep distress 
To have no help where most should find. 
Sure nature meant her sacred laws 
Should men as strong as women bind. 
Begardless he, unable I, 
To keep this image of my heart, 
'Tis Yile to Murder! hard to Starve 
And death almost to me to part ! 
If Fortune should her favours give 
That I in better plight might live 
rd try to have my Boy again 
And train him up the best of men.'' 

Joseph — — , in London, Bom April 28th, 1759. 
« Ya ! mon Enfant prend la Fortune." 

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« Vast blessingB Inokj Child attend 
Thy fate as well as mine. 
A graoions Saint has been my friend. 
A Conquest shall now be thine. 
Great Gtod supported me 
Tho' I no learning knew, 
Bnt Heaven's bounty gires to thee, 
Support and learning too." 

« Pm sent to find. 

If Fortune's kind; j 

And should it now prove true, I 

My parent fond, j 

Will not Despond, \ 

Of Sarah Montague." 1 

« Not either Parent wants a Parent's Mind, 
But Friends and Fortune are not always kind. 
The helpless Infant by its tender Cries 
Blesseth the hand from whom it meets supplies." 

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« By any means we cannot her relieve ; 
So gracious God, we beg thou wilt forgive. 
This fault of ours, and pity on her take ; 
And this we beg for Jesus Christ his sake." 

At this period, the station in life of the parties 
availing themselves of the charity could only be 
surmised by the quality of the garments in which the 
\ children were dressed, the particulars of which were 
faithfully recorded ; the following being a sample 
viz: — 

" 1741, — A male child, about two months old, with 
white dimity sleeves, lined with white, and tied with 
red ribbon/' 

" A female child, aged about six weeks, with a blue 
figured ribbon, and purple and white printed linen | 

sleeves, turned up with red and white/' ; 


" A male child, about a fortnight old, very neatly 
dressed ; a fine holland cap, with a cambric border, 
white corded dimity sleeves, the shirt ruffled with 

*• A male child, a week old ; a holland cap, with a 
plain border, edged biggin and forehead-cloth, diaper 
bib, striped and flowered dimity mantle, and another 
holland one ; India dimity sleeves, turned up with 
stitched holland, damask waistcoat, holland ruffled 

Some of the children were avowed by the parties 
leaving them to be legitimate, and many are so by 
inference, being bom in Lying-in Charities intended 
for married women only. 

Sometimes the recording clerk was rather laconic 
and quaint in his descriptions : for instance, of one of 
the children, he says, it had 

" A paper on the breast— 
Clont on the head.'' 

Children received with Money, — ^After Parliament 
(frightened by the spirit of evil itself had raised) 
had deserted the charity, the Governors were left to 
pursue, once more, their own course, and to adapt, if 
they thought fit, its administration to the more imme- 
diate objects of the Founder. This they were evidently 
desirous of doing, but the extravagancies caused by the 
"nationality'* of their Institution for the period alluded 
to had emptied the Exchequer of the Hospital, and the 
evils of the system had so offended the public, that 

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much of the individual support which it previously 
received from charitable persons was withdrawn. 

The "poverty," perhaps, not the "will'' of the 
acting Governors, led them into an error of another 
kind, namely — a resolution to receive children with 
money, in addition to such other objects as the funds of 
the Hospital might enable them to maintain. It is a 
fact much ^:^^^.^f£r*^^tHjt^at/ frrip^^y y^ars ^^^1^^^^ 
were mysteriously received on pa yment of £100, with- 
out a knowledge of, or any clue being given to the 
parents from whom they sprang [^ The abuses which 
"m^ht, and no doubt did, arise from this system, are so 
obvious as to need no comment. It is due, however, 
to the Governors to say, that immediately after the 
funds of the charity had assumed a healthier state, 
they abolished altogether this more than questionable 
\ \ practice. At a court of Governors, held on the 2 lit 
1 January, 1801, there being present several eminent 
lawyers, including Mr. (afterwards Baron) Garrow, and 
\. \ \ Sir Thomas Plumer (subsequently Master of the EoUs), 

it was resolved to rescind the obnoxious bye-law which 
originated so objectionable a system. The truth is, the 
matter was about to be brought to a legal issue, from 
the following circumstance : — The mother of a child 
which had been received imder this rule, although a 
consenting party to the separation, afterwards repented, 
and, having discovered the residence of the nurse with 
whom it was placed in the country, practised. upon her 
an artifice by which she obtained possession of the 
child, and refused to relinquish her right. The 
Governors, feeling themselves under an obligation to 

..V ^ 



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reclaim the child by exercising the powers which they 
conceived to be vested in them, took a high legal 
opinion, when they were advised that, owing to their 
departure in this respect jfrom the spirit and letter of 
their charter, and the Act of Parliament confirming it, 
they had no chance of being protected in a court of ^ 
law. From this time^ therefore, namely January, 1801, 
no child has been received into the Hospital, either 
directly or indirectly, with any sum of money, large 
or small. 

The present practice. — The present mode of admit- 
ting children has prevailed for more than sixty years, 
without those variations of principle and practice which 
characterized previous periods of the History of the 
Hospital. It cannot be better set forth than in the 
language of a report made to Parliament in 1836, by 
a commission appointed to enquire into the larger 
charities of London : — 

" The present practice of the Governors is to decide r 
each application for the admission of children on its ^ 
own merits. There are, however, certain preliminary 
conditions required, the absence of any one of which is 
fatal to the petitioner's application, and subjects it to 
instant rejection, except in very peculiar cases. Thus 
it is required, 

" 1. That the child shall be illegitimate, except the 
father be a soldier or sailor killed in the service of his 

♦ Nobody of men ooTild have been inflnenced by more noble and patriotic 
feelings on different occasions than the Gbvernors of the Foundling Hospital, 
In 1761, dnring the War in Germany, also daring the Continental war in 179^ 

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"2. That the child be bom, and its age under 
twelve months. 

" 3. That the petitioner shall have borne a good 
character previous to her misfortune or delivery. 

" 4. That the father shall have deserted his offspring, 
and be not forthcoming^ that is, not to be found, or 
compellable to maintain his child. 

" Supposing, therefore, that it appears by the 
petition, and the petitioner's examination,"^ that the 
claim for admission is advanced in respect of an illegi- 
timate child, of a hitherto respectable parent, not 
twelve months old, whose father has deserted it and is 
not forthcoming, and whose birth has not been taken 
cognizance of by any parish authorities, the petitioner 
is considered to have established a case for enquiry ; 
and the " Enquirer ^^ is directed to obtain information, 
both as to these and as to other circumstances in the 
case now to be stated, which differ from those above- 
mentioned in this respect, that none are absolutely 
required, and that they are all taken into consideration 
by the Governors, and influence their estimate of the 
merits of each application, according to the degree only 
in which they prevail in the individual one imder 

"Thus the petitioner's child acquires a stronger 

and on the occasion of the battle of Waterloo, they freely opened their gates 
to the necessitons children of those who had fallen in the service of their 
country. Illegitimate children are now the sole objects of the Charity. 

* " No one can blame the total change of the plan^ which for the last 
sixty years has been made, with whatever view, by adopting the rule to 
admit no child whose mother does not appear to be examined."— -Lord 
Brougham* s Letter to Sir Samuel BotMUy or^ ChaHHes* 

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claim to admission, according to the d^ree in which it 
appears — 

'^ 1. That the petitioner is poor, and has no relations 
able or willing to maintain her child. 

"2. That her delivery and shame are known to 
few persons, being either her relations or inmates of the 
house in which the circumstances occurred. 

" 3. That in the event of the child being received, 
the petitioner has a prospect of preserving her station 
in society, and obtaining by her own exertions an 
.honest livelihood. 

^**The most meritorious case, therefore, would be one 
in which a young woman, having no means of 
subsistence, except those derived from her own labour, 
and having no opulent relations, previously to com- 
mitting the oflFence bore an irreproachable character, 
but yielded to artful and long -continued seduction, and 
an express promise of marriage : whose delivery took 
place in secret, and whose shame was known to only 
one or two persons, as, for example, the medical 
attendant and a single relation; and lastly, whose 
employers or other persons were able and desirous to 
take her into their service, if enabled again to earn her 
livelihood by the reception of her child. 

" This is considered the most eligible case, and others 
are deemed by the Governors as more or less so, in 
proportion as they approach nearer to or recede further 
from that above stated ; their great object being, as 
they allege, to fulfil to the utmost the benevolent views 
of the principal Founder of the Hospital, who, as 
appears by his petition for the charter, was chiefly 

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solicitous that the mothers of illegitimate chUdren 
should have other means within their reach of hiding 
their shame than the destruction of their miserable off- 
spring, and thus they say they seek *to hide the shame 
of the mother as well as to preserve the life of the 
child/ '* 



The first sympathies of the human heart are doubt- 
less excited by the presence of misery, originating in 
what may be termed the accidents of life, unassisted 
either by the transgression or omission of the individual 
Distress thus obtained, has at all times received, though 
not systematically, the compassionate alleviation which 
it requires. But there is misery of another class, which f 
has its origin in the moral weaknesses of our nature : 
this, though more poignant than the former, inasmuch, 
as it is followed by the bitterness of acknowledged 
transgression, did not in darker ages receive, because to 
human wisdom it did not seem to deserve, the com- 
miseration of mankind. But the Christian religion, by 
its admirable precepts and influences, has imbued the 
social system of nations with a policy, which is founded 
upon a compassionate estimate of the weaknesses of 
humanity, and a just measure of relief to voluntary 
repentance. This lesson of mercy was evidently taught 
by the Founder of Christianity himself, when he bade 
the Jew who was without sin cast the first stone at the 
repentant adulteress, and then calmly dismissed her with 


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the charge to sin no more !* It was not that her crime 
was venialy but that He who desired not the death of a 
sinner, but rather that he should repent and live, saw 
in this wretched criminal, sufficient of remorse to be 
the object of a lesson to mankind, — that the rigour of 
human law should not be exercised without a humane 
regard to the circumstances under which crime may 
have been committted, and to the sincerity of the 
repentance which may have followed. 

It may be asked, then, where is the man, imbued 
with Christian charity, who is prepared to take up the 
stone, and fling it at the poor victim of unprincipled 
seduction and brutal desertion 1 Is he ready to bear 
in like manner the consequences of his own guilt, and 
to go down the stream of life with her in her shattered 
bark? No: and yet there are pseudo-moralists, afflicted 
with an unfortunate obliquity of the mind's eye, who 
rather than succour the necessities of one whose mis- 
fortune originated in evil, would hurl the oflFender 

* Hoore's poetical paraphrftse of this subject natnrallj recurs to the 
mind :^ 

" Oh, woman ! if hj simple wile 

Thy soul has stray'd from honour's track, 
'Tis mercy only can beg^ule. 
By gentle ways, the wand'rer back. 

" The stain that on thy virtue lies, 

Wash'd by thy tears, may yet decay ; 
As clouds that sully morning skies. 

May all be wept in show*rs away. 

** Go, go — be innocent and live— 
The tongues of men may wound thee sore j 

But heav*n in pity can forgive, 
And bids thee * Go, and sin no more !' '' 

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headlong into perdition. Alas 1 the descent from virtue 
to vice is so easy, that but one step intervehes between 
them : and often, when we think we are secure, our 
foot slips, and we are involved in all the misery and 
degradation of sin ! This is the fate of us all : 'tis the 
fate of him who proudly glories in his own rectitude ; 
for what is the moral history of a man's life ? Tis 
but a succession from virtue to vice, from vice to 
repentance. Shall man, then, who is so weak as not to 
be able to sustain his own virtue, withhold from 
a wretched woman, who by wily arts has been deceived, 
that compassion for her error which he requires for 
himself ? And yet, those who oppose an Institution 
founded on such principles and practice as the Found- 
ling Hospital is now conducted, answer by their conduct 
the very aflSrmative of this question. We ask in the 
language of an eminent writer,* "Have faults no 
extenuations ? Is there no diflference betwixt one 
propensely going out of the road, and continuing there 
through depravity of will, — and a hapless wanderer 
straying by delusion, and warily treading back her 
steps V* The latter are the peculiar object of the 
Foundling Hospital ; and what Christian — what man 
is there whe will gainsay the humanity of such an 
Institution 1 

But there are certain individuals who endeavour 
to smother their humanity under the plea, that 
the policy — the good cf society as they term it — is 

* Sterne, who preached a sermon for the charity, in the chapel of the 
Hospital, in 1761. 

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against the existence of any institution which shall 
relieve distress arising out of an -evil action,* Now 
it may be well to answer these rigid interpreters by 
enquiring, how far the good of society is injured by 
the institution of an asylum for the protection of 
infants, whose wretched parents, first straying by 
delusion, warily tread back their steps ? 

We know that shaTne is sometimes so powerful a 
monitor in the female breast, that it is impossible to 
resist its influence. Suppose then, the victim of 
seduction, — deceived, deserted, without even the 
shadow of hope in the distance to point to her relief : — 
suppose we say, this wretched creature overtaken by 
despair, and, in a fit of madness, to become the 
murderess of her infant 1 we ask, how is the good of 
society answered by driving her to this desperate act ? 
Would it not have been better secured by an opposite 
course % In the first place, by rescuing the infant from 
destruction, through the medium of some public asylimi, 
it might be enabled hereafter to give its modicimi of 
strength for the benefit of that public, through whose 
compassion it might have been saved. And secondly, 
by preserving the wretched parent from so desperate a 
crime, she might, by her penitence and future rectitude 
have maintained the cause of virtue, and once more 
enjoyed the value of reputation after having tasted 
the ill consequences of losing it. 

• If this doctrine were generally acted u-gouy what wonld become of the 
nnmerons medical and surgical charities of the kingdom, which are half 
filled with cases originating in the weaknesses or vices of humanity p 
How many beds of such noble establishments as St. Bartholomew's, St. 
Thomas's, Qny's, &c., &c., would become vacant P 

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But we will suppose that the delirium of her despair 
does not reach to so great a height : we will take it for 
granted, that nature asserts so powerfully her claims, 
that this victim of seduction is ready to brave all con- 
sequences for the preservation of her oflfepring. How 
can she do this ?— she dare not apply to her relations : 
— ^they would reject and despise her. Her seducer has 
placed himself out of the reach of the law, — she has no 
means within herself — no hope ! Being therefore un- 
able to aflEbrd protection to her offspring in an honest 
way, she throws off for ever her remaining mantle of 
virtue and abandons herself to a prostituted life ? Is 
the good of society promoted by her swelling the awful 
lists of public prostitutes ? Is it promoted by her 
bringing up her child in the path of vice instead of 
virtue ? No. And yet we are told by these spurious 
moralists, that it is unwise to step in between a hap- 
less female and the punishment of lasting infamy which 
they would allot to her offence. 

« CuTBe on the savage and nnbending law 

Of stern society, that tnms a speck 
In woman to an everlasting flaw ! 

And far from whisp'ring ns to save or check 
Her course in wantonness, bids ns draw 

Bonnd her, like wretches hovering ronnd a wreck, 
All that the wave hath spar'd, to spoil and plunder, 

And sink the noble vessel farther under." 

Many are the indirect testimonies given by men of 
talent in favour both of the policy and the humanity 
towards which the objects of the Foundling Hospital are 
directed. Fielding, who had a profound knowledge of 
human nature and human action, puts into the mouth 

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of Mr Allworthy, in his inimitable novel of "Tom Jones,** 
the most benevolent and, at the same time, the most 
sensible reasons for sheltering and befriending the 
supposed mother of the little foundling ; and in his 
parting admonition to her, makes the good man say, 
''I have talked thus to you, child, not to insult you for 
what is past and irrecoverable, but to caution and 
strengthen you for the future. Nor should I have 
taken this trouble, but from some opinion of your 
good sense, notwithstanding the dreadful slip you 
have made, and from some hopes of your hearty 
repentance, which are founded on the openness and 
sincerity of your confession/* And when her enemies 
would have sacrificed her to ruin and infamy, by a 
shameful correction in a bridewell, "so far** (says the 
author) "from complying with this their inclination. 

The following yenes from the pen of H. W. FreeUmd, Esq., may not 
inappropriately be here inserted : 

O apnm her not ! a mother's care 

Her childhood never knew, 
And she was onoe like angels fair. 

And innooent, and tme. 

Ospnmhernot! for she had none 

A warning word to say ; 
Of all the flock there was bnt one 

That e'er was known to stray. 

When proud man errs, a world that's blind 

To justice and to tmth 
Too qnickly frames excuses kind 

For thoughtlessness and youth } 

When woman falls, her infamy 

A thousand lips proclaim. 
And busy tongues seem pleas'd to be 

The heralds of her shame. 

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by which all hopes of reformation would have been 
abolished, and even the gate shut against her, if her 
own inclination should ever hereafter lead her to 
choose the road of virtue, Mr. Allworthy rather chose 
to encourage the girl to return thither by the only 
possible means ; for (he adds) too true I am afraid 
it is that many women have become abandoned^ and 
have sunk to the last degree ofvice^ by being unable to 
retrieve the first slip.'^ 

In the same strain the celebrated Dr. Bum'^ la- 
ments the abandonment of erring females, by which 
(he says) ** they become desperate and profligate, and 
are induced to make a trade of that vice, which at 
first was a pitiable weakness/* Surely the testimony 
of such men in favour of the preservation of God's 
creatures from destruction, is of infinitely greater 
value than all the theories of political economists ! 

Then paiiBe, lest One that oannot err 

Should crush luinrping pride, 
And meroy, now withheld from her, 

Shonld be to yon denied. 

Goad not to acts of last despair, 

Bnt kindly bid her live ; 
Host hnman *tis to err — ^most fair 

And heavenly to forgive. 

Pity her too confiding yonth 

That early learn' d to stray ; 
And lead her back to holy truth 

And virtue's sacred way. 

Though fairn, she looks from guilt and sin 

To mercy's throne above ; 
And lost on earth, is still within 

The pale of heavenly love. 

♦ Author of «« Burn's Justice," 

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The late Rev. Sydney Smith, who, from the office 
he held, as one of the preachers of the Chapel of the 
Hospital, was well acquainted with the "working'' 
of it, thus writes : — 

"A very unfounded idea exists in the minds of 
some men little acquainted with the principles on 
which we proceed, that the doors of this Hospital^ 
are flung open to the promiscuous reception of 
infants, and that every mother can here find an 
asylum for her offspring, whatever be her pretensions 
as a virtuous mother, an indigent mother, or a 
mother striving by every exertion of industry to 
give to her children creditable support. If this 
were so, this institution would aim directly, and in 
the most unqualified manner, at the destruction 
of two virtues jonr-^whidr'the happiness ~o£L_sQciety 
principally depends — the affection of parents, and 
ihe~ "vtrtueTof women. We should be counteracting^ 
un de r the - namo -ef charity, all those omnipotent 
principles of exertion founded on the love of offspring ; 
— we should be weakening that sacred resolution to 
watch, to toil, and to meet all dangers, to suffer all 
pains, rather than children should know the shadow 
of a grief, or endure but an instant of sorrow ; — 
we should be whispering into the ear of poverty 
the most pernicious of all precepts; — ^we should 
be inviting them to relax from the noblest efforts, 
to blunt the finest feelings, and to disobey the 
highest commandments of Almighty God. My 
brethren, these things are not so : our zeal is^ 
combined with greater knowledge; and experience 

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has taught us^_ that. ..the de signs of the pio us 

demand a circumspection not inferior to that wiSh. 
which" the machinations of the wicked are pur sued. ' 
No child drinks of our cup or eats of our bread 
whose reception, upon the whole, we are not certain 
to be more conducive than pernicious to the 
interests of religion and good morals. We hear no 
mother whom it would not be merciless and 
shocking to turn away ; we exercise the trust 
reposed in us with a trembling and sensitive 
conscience ; we do not think it enough to say, This 
woman is wretched, and betrayed, and forsaken ; 
but we calmly reflect if it be expedient that her 
tears should be dried up, her loneliness sheltered, 
and all her wants receive the ministration of charity. 

■ The object has uniformily been to distinguish 
between hardened guilt and the first taint of vice. 

I By sheltering and protecting once, reclaim for 
ever after, and not to doom to eternal infamy for 
one single stain of guilt. 

"ITie fair and just way to estimate degrees of 
guilt is to oppose them to degrees of temptation ; 
and no one can know more perfectly than the 
conductors of this charity, the abominable artifices 
by which the poor women who come to them for 
relief have been ruined, and the cruelty with which 
they have been abandoned. My brethren, do not . 
believe that these are the mere casualties of vice,/ 
and the irregularities of passion, which, though! 
well governed in the main, degenerate into occa-| 
gional excess. The mothers whom we relieve have- 

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been too often ruined by systematic profligacy — by 
men, the only object and occupation of whose life it 
is to discover innocence, and to betray it. There 
are men in this great city who live only for such a 
purpose, who are the greatest and most dreadful 
curses that the earth carries upon its surface. My 
dear brethren, if I were to show you in this church 
the figure of a wretched woman, a brutal, shameless 
creature, clothed in rags, and mouldering with disease; 
— if I were to tell you she had once been good and 
happy, that she once had that chance of salvation 
which we all have this day ; — if I were to show you 
the man who had doomed her to misery in this world, 
and to hell in the world to come, what would your 
feelings be ? If I were to bring you another as sick 
and as wretched as her, and were to point out the same 
man as the cause of her ruin, how would your indigna- 
tion rise ? But if I were to tell you that the constant 
occupations of this man were to search for innocence 
and to ruin it ; that he was a seducer by profession ; 
that the only object for which he existed was to 
gratify his infamous passions at every expense of 
human happiness, would you not say that his life was 
too bad for the mercy of God ? If the earth were to 
yawn for him as it yawned for Dathan and Abiram, 
is there one eye would be lifted up to ask for mercy 
for his soul ? It is from such wretches as these that 
we strive to rescue unhappy women, to bring them 
back to God, to secure them from the scorn of the 
world that would break their hearts, and drive them 
into the deepest gulf of sin. But this is not all : to 

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the cruelty of seduction is generally added the base- 
ness of abandoning its object, — of leaving to perish 
in rags and in hunger a miserable woman, bribed by 
promises and oaths of eternal protection and regard. 
Now, my brethren, let us be just even to sinners ; let 
us be merciful even to seducers in the midst of horror 
for their crimes; let us fix before our eyes every 
circumstance that can extenuate them ; let us place 
by the side of the guilt the temptation, and judge 
them as we hope to be judged at a perilous season by 
the great Judge of us all. Let us call seduction the 
effect of youth and passion, still we have a right to 
expect all that compensation of good which youth and 
passion commonly afford, if we allow to them all the 
indulgence they usually require ; but what of youth 
or passion is there in forgetting the unprotected weak- 
ness of women— in starving a creature whom you 
have ruined — in flying from her for fear she should 
ask you for -bread ? Does youth thus unite fervour 
with meanness ? Does it, without a single compen- 
satory virtue, combine its own vices and the vices of 
every other period of life ? Is it violent and sordid, 
avaricious and impassioned, the slave of every other 
feeling, and the master of generous compassion alone 1 
This is not youth ; this has nothing to do with the 
origin of life ; it is cold and callous profligacy begun 
in brutal sensuality, fostered by irreligion, strengthened 
by association with bad men, and become so hardened, 
that it laughs at the very misery it creates. These 
are the feelings, and these the men, whose cruelty we 
are obliged to alleviate, and whoso victims we are 

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destined to save. Is there any friend to virtue, how- 
ever rigid, who can say that such an application of 
charity, so scrupulous and so discriminating, is not a 
solid augmentation of human happiness ? that it does 
not extend the dominion of the Gospel, and narrow 
the boundaries of sin? But let those who conceive 
that the claims even of such unhappy women should . 
be rejected, consider what it is they do reject : they 
reject the weakness of sex ; they are deaf to the voice 
of ruined innocence ; they refuse assistance to youth, 
shuddering at the gulf of infamy; they would turn out 
an indigent mother to the merciless world, at a period 
when she demands all that charity can afford, or com- 
passion feel I But whatever be the crimes of the 
parents, and whatever views different individuals may 
take of the relief extended to them, there is no man 
who thinks that the children should perish for their 
crimes, or that those shall be doomed to suffer any 
misery who can have committed no fault. Therefore 
this part of the institution is as free from the shadow 
of blame as every other part is free from the reality.'^ 

Sir Thomas Bernard, Baronet, who was for some 
years Treasurer of the Hospital, writes as follows in 

"The preserving and educating so many children, 
which without the Foundling Hospital, would have 
been lost to that society of which they are calculated 
to become useful members, is certainly a great and^ 
public benefit. The adoption of a helpless, unprotected 

♦ Vide Report of the Society for Bettering the Condition "bf the Poor 

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infant, the watching over its progress to maturity, and 
fitting it to be useful to itself and others here, and to 
attain eternal happiness hereafter, these are no common 
or ordinary acts of beneficence ; but their value and their 
importance are lost, when compared with the benefits 
which (without any prejudice to the original objects 
of the charity) the mothers derive from this Insti- 
tution, as it is at present conducted. The preserving 
the mere vital functions of an infant cannot be put 
in competition with saving from vice, misery, and 
infamy, a young woman, in the bloom of life, whose 
crime may have been a single and solitary act of 
indiscretion. Many extraordinary cases of repentance, 
followed by restoration to peace, comfort, and repu- 
tation, have come within the knowdedge of the writer 
of this note. Some cases have occurred, within his 
own observation, of wives happily placed, the mothers 
of thriving families, who, but for the saving aid of this 
Institution, might have become the most noxious and 
abandoned prostitutes. Very rare are the instances, 
none has come within notice, of a woman relieved by 
the Foundling Hospital, and not thereby preserved 
fromT a course of prostitution/' 

TThere are at present 50D "children supported by the 
Hospital, from extreme infancy up to the age of 
fifteen. This is the maximum number for the main- 
tenance of which the present funds can be made 
available. It is only therefore as vacancies occur by 
apprenticeship or death, reducing this number, that 
other children can be received. The average admis- 
sions per annum for the last three years was forty-one. 

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The average number of applications for the admission 
of children was 236. Independently, therefore, of a 
principle of action which governs the Committee in the 
selection of cases, the limited means at their disposal, 
as compared with the claims upon them, furnishes of 
itself a safe-guard or guarantee against a too free 
administration of this, the most important branch of 
the establishment. 

It has been said (and gravely, though ridiculously, 
charged against the Hospital) that the Governors are 
liable to be deceived, and that in some cases they have 
been imposed upon by designing persons. This may 
be so, it being the fate of all human institutions to be 
imperfect. Judges and juries are very often betrayed 
into error by false witnesses, but does any one pretend 
to assert that, therefore, courts of justice are useless 1 
If the duration of institutions, of whatever nature, was 
to depend upon the perfect integrity of their admi- 
nistration, it is to be feared that their existence would 
be short-lived indeed ! 


There is a class of men with so little charity in 
their hearts, as to make it an incomprehensible matter 
to them how any individual can be found, in this 
mercenary world, to contribute either his time or 
money to benevolent purposes without some com- 
mensurate benefit to himself ; but it is a fact, not- 

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withstanding, that there is a large body of individuals 
(and miserable indeed would society be without such 
persons), who from the purest motives of Christiaij 
charity, are to be found dispensing the good with 
which God has blest them, for the benefit of their 
poorer sojourners in this world of sin and misery, 
divested entirely of self-interest. Of that number are 
the Governors of the Foundling Hospital ! It is as- 
serted without fear of contradiction, by one who has 
had for many years ample opportunity of ascertaining 
it, that there is not a charity in or out of the metro- 
polis, more disinterestedly administered in the selection 
of its objects than this institution. It has become a 
principle (fully supported in practice), that no Go- 
vernor shall interfere, either directly or indirectly, by 
recommendation or otherwise, in obtaining the ad- 
mission of a child. No interest is exercised except 
what the abstract misery of the case on its presenta- 
tion excites, and all extraneous support is set aside. 
The truth is, that the persons relieved are of that class 
who are unable to command patronage, or who dare 
not seek it lest their error and their misery should be 
betrayed I 

This administration of an important branch of such 
an institution is thus asserted, because there is a 
''vulgar error" on the subject, namely— that the 
Governors have the privilege of presenting children, 
after the manner of other establishments ; but a more 
unfounded statement never was erroneously conceived 
or ignorantly disseminated ! 

The pecuniary qualification of a Governor is a do- 

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nation of fifty pounds. There are pews in the Chapel 
set apart for the accommodation of Governors and 
their families free of charge. 


It has been the practice of the Governors, from the 
earliest period of the Hospital to the present time, to 
name the children at their own will and pleasure, 
whether their parents should have been known, or 

At the baptism of the children first taken into the ^ 
Hospital, which was on the 29th of March, 1741, it is 
recorded, that " there was at the ceremony a fine ap- 
pearance of persons of quality and distinction ; his 
Grace the Duke of Bedford, our President, their Graces 
the Duke and Duchess of Richmond, the Countess of 
Pembroke, and several others, honouring the children 
with their names, and being their sponsors." 

Thus the register of this period presents the courtly 
names of Abercom, Bedford, Bentinck, Montague, 
Marlborough, Newcastle, Norfolk, Pomfret, Pembroke, 
Richmond, Vernon, &c., &c., as well as those of nu- 
merous other living individuals, great and small, who 
at that time took an interest in the establishment. 
When these names were exhausted, the authorities 
stole those of eminent deceased personages, their first 
attack being upon the church. Hence we have a 
Wicklifie, Huss, Ridley, Latimer, Laud, Bancroft, 


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Tillotson, Tennison, Sherlock, &c., &c. Then come 
the mighty dead of the poetical race, viz. — Geoffrey 
Chaucer, William Shakspeare, John Milton, &c. Of 
the philosophers, Francis Bacon stands pre-eminently 
conspicuous. As they proceeded, the Governors were 
more warlike in their notions, and brought from their 
graves Philip Sidney, Francis Drake, Oliver Cromwell, 
John Hampden, Admiral Benbow, and Cloudesley 
Shovel. A more peaceful list followed this, viz. — 
Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Vandyke, Michael Angelo, 
and Godfrey Kneller ; William Hogarth, and Jane 
his wife, of course not being forgotten. Another class 
of names was borrowed from popular novels of the 
day, which accounts for Charles Allworthy, Tom Jones, 
Sophia Western, and Clarissa Harlowe. The gentle 
Isaac Walton stands alone. The last child received 
under the parliamentary system was named Kitty 

So long as the admission of children was confined 
within reasonable bounds, it was an easy matter to 
find names for them ; but during the "parliamentary 
era *' of the Hospital, when its gates were thrown open 
to all comers, and each day brought its regiment of in- 
fantry to the establishment, the Governors were some- 
times in difficulties ; and when this was the case, they 
took a zoological view of the subject, and named them 
after the creeping things and beasts of the earth, or 
created nomenclature from various handicrafts or 

In 1 801, the hero of the Nile and some of his friends 
honoured the establishment with a visit, and stood 

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sponsors to several of the children. The names given 
on this occasion were Baltic Nelson, William and 
Emma Hamilton, Hyde Parker, &c. 

Up to a very late period the Governors were some- 
times in the habit of naming the children after them- 
selves or their friends ; but it was found to be an 
inconvenient and objectionable course, inasmuch as 
when they grew to man or womanhood, they were apt 
to lay claim to some affinity of blood with their no- 
menclators. The present practice therefore is, for the 
Treasurer to prepare a list, from which the children 
are named. 


There can be no doubt that as the object of an 
institution of this nature is to save life, its managers 
should take all reasonable means for eflfecting such 
a desideratum. It is with this intention that the 
present Governors invariably obtain for the infants 
falling under their charitable care, wet nurses, unless 
it happens (which is rarely the case) that the age of 
a child renders such assistance unnecessary. The 
result, therefore, of this course is much more favour- 
able than that adopted at the outset of the estab- 

In considering the question of mortality, the 
children of the Hospital should be classed under two 
heads, namely:— 1st, those under the age of three 

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;' years in the country, and 2ndly, those from three to 

I fifteen in London. 

With respect to the former, the chances against 
rearing many of them are very great, and for these 
reasons. The mothers of the infants (who for the 
most part are very young) being desirous of "hiding 
their shame'* from their relatives, or those with whom 
they may happen to be placed, manage by contri- 
vances and artifices to prevent a knowledge of their . 
imprudence until it can no longer be concealed. The 
writer has known many instances where girls (for 
their youth justifies the designation) have been livings 
with their mothers, with whom they have been in 
constant intercourse, and even sleeping in the same 
bed; and yet have contrived to hide from their parents 
the fact of their unfortunate condition till the moment 
of confinement. In the same manner servants manage 
to undergo the labours of their ofl&ce, and contrive 
to elude the observation of their mistresses, till the 
instant of giving birth to a child. The unnatural dis- 
tortions of body by which their secret is preserved, 
are accompanied by anxieties of mind which do not 
arise only from the dread of discovery. The prospect 
before her is dreary enough, but the retrospect is 
perhaps worse. "She finds herself '^ (says the late 
Kev. John Hewlett,) "the victim of treachery and vo- 
luptuousness, where she fondly hoped to be the object 
of pure and individual love ; and at a time when the 
languor of the body and the growing anxiety of the 
mind powerfully claim, and in general receive, addi- 
tional tenderness, she is obliged to endure the severest 

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affliction that fear could imagine, or unkindness pro- 
duce/' Can it be wondered at therefore, that an 
infant born under such circumstances should be de- 
ficient in those physical developments which otherwise 
it might have possessed ? But this is not all. The 
same powerful motive which prompted her first desire 
to conceal her disgrace, leads her to seek the only 
other opportunity she has of ensuring such conceal- 
ment, namely — by putting her infant away from her, 
^as soon after its birth as possible, to some nurse who 
undeFa "promTse' of payment, which the mother is 
unable to fulfil, engages to take upon herself the 
duties of the parent, duties which in nine cases out of 
ten she neglects to perform in a satisfactory manner. 
Beginning life with such opposing contingencies, and 
thus neglected, the infant is admitted into the Found- 
ling Hospital. **At least one-fifth of those admitted 
during the last nine years'' (says the examining me- 
dical officer) "have been in such a missrable state of 
emaciation, at to make it doubtful if they could be 
reared at all, and of those presented in tolerable health, 
many receive a serious check from the change of nurse, 
condition, and other circumstances attending their ad- 
mission. These infants are presented at all ages, from 
one to twelve months, and have been mostly exposed 
to all the injurious consequences arising from insuffi- 
cient nursing and improj^r diet ; the greater number 
have not had the breast at all, and I have generally 
found on enquiry, that those who have had the ad- 
vantage of a wet nurse, have been fed at the same 
time with spoon food/' 

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The general health of the children within the walls 
of the Hospital is remarkably good ; and with the 
exception of occasional epidemic visitations, they have 
been singularly free from the acute forms of disease to 
which children in general are so liable. 

Perhaps the healthiness of the locality could not 
be better exemplified than by this fact — ^that several 
adult foundlings who, from some organic defect, have 
from time to time become chargeable to the Hospital 
for life, and have scarcely ever quitted the walls of 
the building, have lived to a very advanced period — 
some dying between the ages of seventy and eighty 
years, and others between eighty and ninety.* 


The children are generally disposed of by appren- 
ticeship : the girls at the age of sixteen to domestic 

* " Now that there seems to be so great a desire to move to the west-end 
of the metropolis, either to Belgravia or Tybnrnia, it may be advisable to 
inform Her Majesty's subjects, that there is no healther part of this great 
town than the space contained within the following boundaries, viz. — 
Holbom and New Oxford Street, on the south; the New Road, on the north; 
Gray's Inn, on the east ; and Tottenham Court Boad, on the west ; — which 
space contains within it the twenty-two squares or open spaces, following : — 

" 1. Gray's Inn, 2. its Squares, 3. its Gardens ; 4. Foundling Hospital, 
5. its Gardens ; 6. Burial Ground ; 7. Mecklenburgh Square ; 8. Regent 
Square ; 9. Argyle Square ; 10. Red Lion Square ; 11. Queen Square ; 
12. Bloomsbury Square ; 13. Bedford Square ; 14. Russell Square ; 15. 
Torrington Square ; 16. Wobum Square ; 17. Gordon Square ; 18. Tavistock 
Square ; 19. Euston Square ; 20. Burton Crescent ; 21. University College 
Grounds ; 22. Brunswick Square. 

"If this were in Paris, it would be called "Les Qu^rtier des Carres" 
The streets generally run at right angles to each other. It is a gravelly 
©oil^ and the spring water excellent." — The Builder* 

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service for a term of four years, and the boys at the 
age of fourteen as mechanics for a term of seven 
years —many of the boys, however, having a know- 
ledge of music, volunteer into the bands of the army 
or navy. 


There is much misconception and misunderstanding 
on the part of the public on this head. 

In the memoir of Captain Coram, it is clearly shown 
that what property he had acquired was consumed in 
the pursuit of his philanthropic projects, and that he 
had no wealth by which to endow, even in a limited 
degree, an institution of this nature, being himself a 
recipient of charity for the last two years of his life. 
The Hospital had nothing, therefore, to depend upon 
at its commencement, but the eleemosynary aid of the 
public, either in the form of donations or legacies ; 
and what permanent revenue it now has, may be 
ascribed to the fortuitous policy of the early Governors 
and the provident care of their successors. Thus the 
Governors in 1741, being in pursuit of a salubrious 
site for erecting an Hospital, fixed upon certain fields 
in the neighbourhood of London, deriving their name 
from "Lamb's Conduit,"^ (in extent fifty-six acres,) 

* The lands of the Hospital in the Parish of St. Fancras belonged to the 
Prior of the House of The Salvation of the Mother of God, of the Order of 
the Carthusians :— the same was granted by Queen Elizabeth, in 1532, to 
Van^han and Ellia« 

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belonging to the Earl of Salisbury, who agreed to sell 
them to the charity for £5,500. The whole tract of 
land was purchased out of casual benefactions and 
legacies, nbt because the charity required it for its 
then purposes, but because the Eail would not sell 
any fractional part of it. As London increased, it 
approached this property, and the Governors were in- 
duced seventy years afterwards to turn that to the 
pecuniary advantage of the charity, which its early 
managers had not the remotest idea would have ever 
become otherwise beneficial than as guaranteeing the 
healthy condition of the children. From this acciden- 
tal circumstance, the Governors derive, from ground 
rents alone, an annual income equal to the purchase- 
money ! This income is secured by leases of ninety- 
nine years' duration, which leases will expire between 
1890 and 1920 ; so that at present the income from 
this source must remain stationary. 

Some imaginative persons have invested the Hos- 
pital already with the property in which it has only 
a remote reversionary interest, and they unwisely 
withhold their charitable hands, not because they dis- 
approve of the institution, but because it is already 
so rich! No charity can be rich unless it has a 
surplus revenue after every reasonable opportunity 
has offered for disposing of it upon the objects for 
whose benefit it was created. This is not the case 
with the Foundling Hospital. "It confines itself '* 
(says Bishop Thirl wall) " to a particular class of cases 
— one, however, which is unhappily so large, that it 
constantly overgrows the means of relief.'' It should 

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be understood therefore, that to these ground-rents, 
and the interest of certain stock, which has been 
nursed by the great care of the Guardians of the 
Charity, to the Pew Rents and contributions at the 
chapel doors and other such casualties, the Hospital 
is wholly dependent for support. 

The walls of the building present, it is true, a 
goodly array of tablets, noting considerable bene- 
factions and legacies, but it should be recoUected that 
the greater part of this money was swallowed up in 
the vortex caused by Parliamentary interference, and 
that only during the last sixty years have the Go- 
vernors been able to lay up for the Hospital a pecu- 
niary foundation. 

Of those who were early benefactors, the name of 
Omychund, a black merchant of Calcutta, should be 
specially mentioned. He bequeathed to the Foundling 
and Magdalen Hospitals, 37,r)00 current rupees, to be 
equally divided ; but unfortunately a portion only of 
this munificent legacy could be extracted from the 
grasp of Huzzorimal, his executor, notwithstanding 
the zealous interference of Warren Hastings, Esq., the 
Governor-General, and other eminent functionaries. 

The following is a legacy of another kind. The 
testator was one Shirley, of Stratford, in Essex. 

"The whole of my Dramatic Works, consisting 
of nine Tragedies, one Comedy, and five smaller 
productions, I bequeath to the Governors of the 
Foundling Hospital, in trust for that greatly useful 
Institution, hoping their being enabled to get them 

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performed, unaltered or mutilated, in one of the 
London Theatres, they being certainly not inferior to 
any set of such performances produced at the present 
age ; and should they be acted, I request the repay- 
ment out of the profits to all subscribers to me, which 
can amount to but a small sum of money/' The 
reader will be able to estimate the value of this 
bequest ! 

In 1759, William Williams, Esq., who possessed 
property in Jamaica, bequeathed the same to certain 
persons "w trust to sell the same, together with all and 
every the Negro, Mulatto, and other slaves whatsoever 
to me belonging, with their future offspring, issue, or 
increase, and to pay the net proceeds to the Treasurer 
of the Foundling Hospital. His next bequest is as 
follows : — ^^ Item, I give and bequeath to that most 
abandonedly wicked, vile, detestable rogue and im- 
postor, who hath assumed, and now does, or lately did 
go by the name of Gersham Williams, pretending to 
be a son of mine, one shilling only, to buy him an 
halter, wherewith to hang himself being what he hath 
for a long, long, very long while past meritted and 
deserved from the law of the hands of the hangman, 
for his great and manifold villanies" 

At the demise of his reputed father, this " Gersham 
Williams,'^ made many attempts to compromise matters 
with the Governors of the Hospital regarding the le- 
gacy, but he proved a slippery character, and failed in 
his object. The legacy yielded to the charity £5563. 

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This Fund has no connection with the Funds of the 
Hospital, and is the result of private subscriptions, 
donations and legacies, which are found very inade- 
quate to the objects contemplated. 

In stating what these objects are, it is necessary to 
oflfer some explanation. 

The Hospital was incorporated for the maintenance 
of ''deserted Young Children" and it is expressly pro- 
vided by the Act of Parliament confirming the Charter, 
that none of the children shall obtain a parochial 
settlement by reason of their residence within its 

If, therefore, they do not acquire a settlement by 
apprenticeship, they are without any legal provision 
whatever in their after-life, except the Governors 
adopt one of two alternatives, — namely, to abandon 
them in their utmost need to the casualties of the 
world, or (what is worse still) to seek out the parish 
settlement of the mother — an act which, besides being 
impossible in nine cases out of ten, would defeat the 
very principle and purpose of the Hospital, and the 
benign object it has in view as regards the repentant 
and well-doing mother. 

Now, at other institutions, the reception of children 
is determined finally by their mental or physical de- 
velopments, but at the Foundling Hospital they are 
received at so early an age, as to prevent the possi- 
bility of their state, in either case, being ascertained ; 

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consequently, as they grow up some of them are found, 
from time to time, incapable of being placed out in the 
world, being either idiotic, blind, deformed, or consti- 
tutionally incapable of earning their living. 

The Governors of the Hospital have hitherto taken 
a paternal and comprehensive view of their duty in 
such cases, by maintaining them out of the General 
Funds, although it had often been questioned whether 
the means at their disposal were applicable to such 

To test this, the opinion of Counsel has recently 
been taken, by whom it is declared that the main- 
tenance of Adult Foundlings " does not properly fall 
within the scope of the objects for which the Found- 
ling Hospital was established.*' 

Under these circumstances, it is proposed to enlarge 
the boundary of this " Benevolent Fund,*' so as to 
embrace the objects above stated, along with the other 
objects contemplated at its formation, namely : — 

Granting Annual Pensions or Weekly Allowances to 
aged or infirm Foundlings, who have been out in the 
world, and whose laborious lives have been without 
reproach, or whose sickness has been unprovoked by 
intemperance or other misconduct. 

A special appeal is therefore made on behalf of this 
truly Samaritan Fund. 

Donations and Subscriptions will be thankfully re- 
ceived by the Secretary of the Hospital. 

Bequests made payable to the Trustees of the Fund 
would be secured. 

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Sir Robert Strange, in his " Enquiry into the Rise 
and Establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts/' 
makes the following remark : — 

"The donations in painting, which several artists 
presented to the Foundling Hospital, were among the 
first objects of this nature which had engaged the at- 
tention of the public. The artists observing the eflfect 
that these paintings produced, came, in the year 1760, 
to a resolution to try the fate of an Exhibition of their 
works. This effort had its desired effect : the public 
were entertained, and the artists were excited to emu- 

And, again, in his " Conduct of the Royal Acade- 
micians,*' he says. — 

" Accident has often been observed to produce what 
the utmost efforts of industry have failed to accom- 
plish ; and something of this kind seems to have 
happened hera As liberty has ever been considered 
the Friend and parent of the Fine Arts, it is natural 
for their professors to revere the memory of all those 
who were the champions and assertors of that inva- 
luable blessing, paticularly those of our own country : 
on this principle it was, that the artists we are now 
speaking of, had an Annual Meeting at the Foundling 
Hospital, to commemorate the landing of King Wil- 
liam. To this charity, several of their body had made 

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donations in Painting, Sculpture, &c., which, being 
accessible to the public, made those artists more gene- 
rally known than others, and this circumstance it was 
that first suggested an Exhibition — which was no 
sooner proposed than approved. The Committee, con- 
sequently, who were the proposers, received directions 
to issue proper notices of the intention. The per- 
formances of many ingenious men, hitherto unknown, 
were received, and on the 21st day of April, 1760, an 
Exhibition was opened in the great room belonging to 
the Society of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, in 
the Strand ; on which it will be sufficient to observe, 
that the success was equal to the most sanguine ex- 
pectations ; the public were pleased and the artists 
applauded; those already known received additional 
reputation, and such as were not, became the imme- 
diate acquaintance of the public." 

Edwards, also, in his "Anecdotes of Painters,'^ speak- 
ing of the unsuccessful attempts made to form an 
Academy, says — 

"Although these endeavours of the artists had not 
succeeded, they were far from being so discouraged as 
not to continue their meetings, as well as their studies ; 
and the next effort they made towards acquiring the 
attention of the public, was connected with the Found- 
ling Hospital. 

" This institution, so humane in its primitive in- 
tention, whatever may be thought of its effects, was 
incorporated by charter, dated 1739. A few years 
after that period, the present building was erected ; 
but as the income of the charity could with no pro- 

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priety be expended on decorations, many of the prin- 
cipal artists of that day voluntarily exerted their 
talents for the purpose of ornamenting several of the 
apartments of the Hospital, which otherwise must 
have remained without decoration. The pictures thus 
produced, and generously given, were permitted to be 
seen by any visitor, upon proper application. The 
spectacle was so new that it made a considerable im- 
pression on the public, and the favourable reception 
these works experienced, impressed the artists with 
an idea of forming a public exhibition/' 

A more recent writer has said, " that it is within 
the walls of the Foundling the curious may contem- 
plate the state of British Art, previously to the epoch 
when George the Third first countenanced the histo- / 
rical talent of West." 

William Hogarth, the celebrated painter, was fore- 
most amongst those who first cordially co-operated in 
forwarding the views of the Founder of the Hospital. 
In the charter for its incorporation, he appears as one 
of its constituent members, under the denomination of 
"a Governor and Guardian,^' along with a host of 
other "trusty and well-beloved subjects" of his Ma- 
jesty George the Second. 

Nor did Hogarth hold his appointment to be 
merely nominal, for we find him subscribing his 
money, and attending the courts or general meetings 
at the Hospital, as one of its active members, and 
joining heartily in carrying out the designs of his 
friend, the venerable Founder. 

The charter of the Hospital authorized the Gover- 

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nors to appoint persons to ask alms on behalf of the 
charity and to receive subscriptions ; and the first \ 
artistical work of Hogarth in aid of this object, was \ 
to prepare a *' head piece " to a power of attorney / 
drawn up for the purpose : a copy of which head 
piece is annexed, taken from the original plate in the 
possession of the Hospital. 

The principle figure is that of Captain Coram him- 
self, with the Charter under his arm. Before him the 
beadle carries an infant, whose mother having dropped 
a dagger with which she might have been momentarily 
tempted to destroy her child, kneels at his feet, while 
he, with that benevolence with which his countenance 
is so eminently marked, bids her be comforted, for her 
babe will be nursed and protected. On the dexter 
side of the print, is a new born infant left close to a 
stream of water which runs under the arch of a bridge. 
Near a gate on a little eminence ia the pathway above, 
a woman leaves another child to the casual care of the 
next person who passes by. In the distance is a 
village with a church. In the other comer aye three 
boys coming out of a door, with the king s arms over 
it, with emblems of their future employment ; one of 
them poises a plummet, a second holds a trowel, and 
a third, whose mother is fondly pressing him to her 
bosom, has in his hand a card for combing wool. The 
next group, headed by a lad elevating a mathematical 
instrument, are in sailors' jackets and trousers. Those 
on their right hand, one of whom has a rake, are in 
the uniform of the school. The attributes of the three 
little girls in the foreground — a spinning wheel, a 

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sampler and broom — indicate female industry and 

It should be remarked that the designs of the Hos- 
pital, foreshadowed by this interesting engraving, did 
not come into actual operation till two years after- 

In May, 1740, that is, seven months after the grant- 
ing of the Charter, at the Annual Court, " Mr. Folkes 
acquainted the Governors, that Mr. Hogarth had pre- 
sented a whole length picture of Mr. Coram, for this 
Corporation to keep in memory of the said Mr. Coram's 
having solicited, and obtained His Majesty's Royal 
Charter for this Charity." Writing of himself some 
years afterwards, Hogarth says : — 

" The portrait which I painted with most pleasure, 
and in which I particularly wished to excel was that 
of Captain Coram for the Foundling Hospital ; and *' 
(he adds, in allusion to his detractors as a portrait 
painter,) "if I am so wretched an artist as my enemies 
assert, it is somewhat strange that this, which was one 
of the first I painted the size of life, should stand the 
test of twenty years' competition, and be generally 
thought the best portrait in the place, notwithstanding 
the first painters in the kingdom exerted all their 
talents to vie with it." ^ 

* The rival portraits here alluded to are, George the Second, Patron of the 
Foundation, by Shackleton ; Lord Dartmouth, one of the Vice Presidents, 
by Mr. Reynolds (afterwards Sir Joshua) j Taylor White, Treasurer of the 
Hospital, in crayons, by Cotes j Mr. Milner and Mr. Jacobson, by Hudson ; 
Dr. Mead, by Ramsay j Mr. Emerson, by Highmore j and Francis Fauquier, 
Esq., by Wilson. 

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Hogarth is said to have displayed no little vanity 
regarding his pretensions as a portrait painter. In 
proof of this, it is related of him, that being at dinner 
with Dr. Cheselden, and some other company, he was 
informed that John Freke, Surgeon of St. Bartholo- 
mew's Hospital, had asserted in Dick's Coffee House, 
that Greene was as eminent in composition as Handel. 
"That fellow, Freke,^' cried Hogarth, "is always shoot- 
ing his bolt absurdly one way or another. Handel is 
a giant in music, Greene only a light Florimel kind 
of composer." "Aye, but" said the other, "Freke 
declared you were as good a portrait painter as Van- 
dyck." '* There he was in the right," quoth Hogarth, 
"and so I am, give me but my time, and let me 
choose my subject." 

In March, 1741, the Governors resolved to com- 
mence upon the good purposes of their Charter, but 
not being able to obtain a suitable building, they took 
houses in Hatton Garden, near the Charity School, 
and opened them as receptacles and nurseries for In- 
fants. In the minutes of that month is the following 
entry : — 

" Mr. Taylor White acquainted the Committee that 
Mr. Hogarth had painted a Shield, which was put up 
over the door of this Hospital, and presented the same 
to this Hospital." 

This shield, or sign, has not been preserved, nor is 
there any record of its design, but it is not improbable 
that it was an emblematical sketch similar in character, 
if not actually the same, as the Arms of the Hospital 
presented to the Court of Governors, by the Authorities 

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of the Heralds' College, in 1747, and which is said by 
Nichols, in his Biographical Anecdotes, to have been 
designed by Hogarth. The technical description of 
these Arms is as follows, viz. : 

" Party per fesse, Azure & Vert, a young child lying 
naked and exposed, extending its right hand proper. 
In chief a Crescent Argent betweeu two Mullets of six 
points Or ; and for a Crest on a Wreath of the colours, 
a Lamb Argent, holding in its mouth a Sprig of Thyme 
proper, supported on the dexter side by a terminal 
figure of a Woman full of Nipples proper, with a 
Mantle Vert, the term Argent being the emblem of 
Liberty, represented by Britannia holding in her right 
hand upon a staff proper, a Cap Argent, and habited 
in a Vest Azure, girt with belt Or, the under garment 
Gules.'^ Motto "Help." 

In 1 740, the Governors of the Charity commenced 
erecting on the land they had purchased the present 
Building, the western wing of which was finished and 
inhabited in 1745. It was at this period that Hogarth 
contemplated the adornment of its walls with works 
of Art, with which view he solicited and obtained the 
co-operation of some of his professional brethren. At 
a Court of Governors, held on the 31st December, 
1746, Hogarth and Kysbrach, the sculptor, being 
present as Governors of the Hospital — " The Treasurer 
acquainted this General Meeting that the following 
Gentlemen, Artists, had severally presented, and agreed 
to present, performances in their different professions, 
for ornamenting this Hospital, viz. : Mr. Francis Hay- 
man, Mr. James Wills, Mr. Joseph Highmore, Mr. 

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Thomas Hudson, Mr. Allan Ramsay, Mr. George Lam- 
bert, Mr. Samuel Scott, Mr. Peter Monamy, Mr. Richard 
Wilson, Mr. Samuel Whale, Mr. Edward Hately, Mr. 
Thomas Carter, Mr. George Moser, Mr. Robert Taylor, 
and Mr. George Pyne. Whereupon this General Meet- 
ing elected, by ballot, the said Mr. Francis Hayman, 
Mr. James Wills, Mr. Joseph Highmore, Mr. Thomas 
Hudson, Mr. Allan Ramsay, Mr. George Lambert, Mr. 
Samuel Scott, Mr. Peter Monamy, Mr. Richard Wilson, 
Mr. Samuel Whale, Mr. Edward Hately, Mr. Thomas 
Carter, Mr. George Moser, Mr. Robert Taylor, and 
Mr. John Pyne, Governors and Guardians of this 

^'Resolved, — 

" That the said Artists, and Mr. Hogarth, Mr. Zinke, 
Mr. Rysbrach, and Mr. Jacobson, or any three or more 
of them, be a Committee to meet annually on the 5th 
of November, to consider of what further ornaments 
may be added to this Hospital, without any expense 
to the charity/' 

Whether these artists were previously associated as 
a Society elsewhere for -the promotion of the Arts, 
or for conviviality, does not appear, or whether they 
began to form themselves from this time and 6ut of 
this occasion, cannot be determined, but it seems 
probable that they were part of a Society alluded to 
by Edwards, who says— "Of the Dilettante Society, 
the author is not suflSciently informed to give a perfect 
account, and therefore can only relate the following 
circumstances. Its original institution was prior to 
either of those already mentioned. It commenced 

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upon political principles, and, as far as it was then 
known to the public, was not approved, being con- 
sidered as rather a disaflFected assembly. But they 
soon changed the object of their meetings, and turned 
their attention to the encouragement of the Arts, and 
made some attempts to assist in the establishment of 
a public Academy." 

Assuming that the artists who thus proposed to 
hold an annual meeting at the Hospital, belonged to 
the Dilettante Society, it may be said that whatever 
their previous objects or bias might have been, their 
present purpose, notwithstanding the ominousness of 
the day fixed on for their meetings (viz. : the 5th of 
November), originated in as harmless a conspiracy as 
could be devised, that of plotting for the advancement 
of the Arts, and of a public charity. 

It seems that these meetings, which commenced 
with the modest suggestion " that any three or more 
of them be a Committee," grew so mightily, that that 
which was intended to be a mere matter of business, 
ended as most associations of Englishmen do) in an 
occasion of conviviality, and that on the 5th of No- 
vember of each succeeding year, and for many years, 
the artists of the day, and the patronizers of the Arts, 
dined at the Hospital.^ 

In the meantime, the donations in Painting, &c., 
the result of these meetings, increased, and " being ex- 
hibited to the public, drew a daily crowd of spectators 

* It appears by a document headed " Deleitantey Virtuosi, Feast, * that no 
less than 154 persons, more or less distinguished, dined at the Hospital on 
the 5th November, 1757. 

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in their splendid equipages ; and a visit to the Found- 
ling became the most fashionable morning lounge in 
the Reign of George 11. The eclat thus excited in 
favour of the Arts, suggested the annual exhibition of 
the united artists, which institution was the precursor 
of the Royal Academy/'f 

Hogarth was not only the principal contributor, but 
the leader of his brethren in all that related to orna- 
menting the Hospital, and therefore, it is as much due 
to his benevolence and generosity, as to his distin- 
guished talents, that his further connexion with the 
institution should receive special notice in this com- 

At a Court of Governors on the 9th of May, 1750, 
(Hogarth being present), — 

" The Treasurer acquainted the General Court, that 
Mr. Hogarth had presented the Hospital with the 
remainder of the tickets Mr. Hogarth had left, for the , 
chance of the picture he had painted, of The March 
to Finchley, in the time of the late Rebellion ; and 
that the fortunate number for the said picture being 
among those tickets, the Hospital had received the 
said picture. 

''Resolved, — 

" That the thanks of this General Court be given to 
Mr. Hogarth, for the said benefaction ; which the Vice- 
President accordingly did/* 

In the "General Advertiser** of the 1st of May, 
1750, the same circumstance is thus related : — . 

f Vide Catalogue Raisonne$ of West's pictnres# 

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" Yesterday, Mr. Hogarth's subscription was closed. 
1843 chances being subscribed for, Mr. Hogarth gave 
the remaining 167 chances to the Foundling Hospital, 
and the same night delivered the picture to the Go- 
vernors .'' 

Ireland, in his Illustrations of Hogarth, remarks as 
follows on this subject : — 

" By the fortunate number being among those pre- 
sented to a charity, which he so much wished to serve, 
the artist was highly gratified. In a private house, it 
would have been in a degree secluded from the public, 
and, by the lapse of time, have been transferred to 
those who could not appreciate its merit, and from 
either negligence or ignorance, might have been de- 
stroyed by damp walls, or efiaced from the canvass by 
picture cleaners. Here, it was likely to remain a per- 
manent and honourable testimony of his talents and 
liberality. Notwithstanding all this, Hogarth soon 
after waited upon the Treasurer of the Hospital, and 
acquainted him that if the Trustees thought proper, 
they were at liberty to dispose of the picture by 
auction. His motive for giving this permission it is 
not easy to assign : it might have originated in a 
desire to enrich a foundation which had his warmest 
wishes, or a natural, though ill-judged ambition to 
have his greatest work in the possession of some who 
had a collection of the old masters, with whom he in 
no degree dreaded a competition. Whether his mind 
was actuated by these, or other causes, it is not im- 
portant ; certain it is, that his opinion changed : he 
requested the Trustees would not dispose of it, and 

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never afterwards consented to the measure he himself 
had originally proposed. The late Duke of Ancaster s 
father wished to become a purchaser, and once offered 
the Trustees three hundred pounds for it. I have 
been told, that a much larger sum was since proffered 
by another gentleman.^' 

It is related in the Gentleman's Magazine, on the 
authority of an anonymous writer, " that a Lady was 
the possessor of the fortunate number, and intended 
to present it to the Foundling Hospital ; but that 
some person having suggested what a door would be 
open to scandal, were any of her sex to make such a 
present, it was given to Hogarth, on the express con- 
dition that it should be presented in his own name.'' 

The next work which Hogarth presented, was 
'' Moses before Pharaoh's Daughter." This was 
painted expressly for the Hospital, and appears to 
have originated in a conjoint agreement, between 
Hayman, Highmore, Wills, and himself, that they 
should each till up one of the compartments of the 
Court Koom with pictures, uniform in size, and of 
suitable subjects taken from Scripture. 

The Hospital had thus obtained from Hogarth, a 
picture in each of the styles of painting which he had 
attempted, and it may be said without fear of con- 
tradiction, that the best specimens of those styles are 
within its walls. 

It is a somewhat singular circumstance, that as 
Hogarth throughout his life had uniformly opposed 
the establishment of a Public Academy of Arts, he 
should, by the very course he pursued in encouraging 

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and concentrating at the Foundling Hospital an ex- 
hibition of the talents of British artists, have himself 
promoted a consummation of the object which he had 
all along deprecated. " In consequence/' says Nichols, 
*' of the public attention bestowed upon the paintings 
presented to the Foundling Hospital by Hogarth, the 
academy in St. Martin's Lane, began to form them- 
selves into a more important body, and to teach the 
arts under regular professors. But, extraordinary as 
it may appear, this scheme was so far from being wel- 
comed by Hogarth, as indicative of a brighter era in 
the Fine Arts, that he absolutely discouraged it, as 
tending to allure many young men into a profession 
in which they would not be able to support them- 
selves, and at the same time to degrade what ought to 
be a liberal profession, into a merely mechanical one." 
In the year 1760 the Hospital had grown to such 
an extent as to embrace within its arms several thou- 
sands of children, so that the Governors were obliged 
to open Branch Establishments in the Country to 
receive them. One of these establishments was at 
Ackworth, in Yorkshire. At this place the children 
were usefully employed in the manufacture of cloth.* 
This led some of the artists to the benevolent and 
enthusiastic idea of promoting the good of the charity 

* One of the scheimes for employing the children was the erection of a 
cotton machine invented by Levjis Paul, for whom Dr. Johnson framed a 
letter to the Dnke of Bedford, President of the Hospital, on the subject,— 
of which the following is a copy : — 

" My Lobd, 

" As beneficence is never exercised but at some expense of ease and 
leisure, your Grace will not be surprised that you are subjected, as the general 

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by appearing at their Festival in 1761, in clothing 
made by these children. 

The following document is confirmatory of this in- 
teresting circumstance, and as evidence of the earnest- 
ness of the artists in this step, there is extant a letter 
dated 15th December, 1760, from the Eev. Dr. Lee, the 

Gnardian of deserted infants, and proteotor of their Hospital, to intrusion and 
importunity, and yon will pardon those who intend, thongh perhaps nnskil- 
folly, the promotion of the charity, the impropriety of their address for the 
goodness of their intention. I therefore take the liberty of proposing to 
yonr Grace's notice a machine for spinning cotton, of which I am the in- 
ventor and proprietor, as proper to be erected in the Fonndling Hospital, 
its stmctnre and operation being snch that a mixed nnmber of the children, 
from five to fourteen years, may be enabled by it to earn their food and 
clothing. In this machine, thus nsef nl, and thus appropriated to the public, 
I hope to obtain from Parliament, by your Grace's recommendation, such 
a right as shall be thought due to the inventor. 

" I know, my Lord, that every project must encounter opposition, 
and I would not encounter it, but that I think myself able to surmount it. 
Mankind has prejudices against every new undertaking, which are not 
always prejudices of ignorance. He that only doubts what he does not 
know, may be satisfied by testimony, at least, by that of his own eyes ; but 
a projector, my Lord, has more dangerous enemies — ^the envious and the 
interested, who will neither hear reasons nor see facts, and whose animosity 
is more vehement as their conviction is more strong. 

" I do not implore your Grace's patronage for a work existing only 
in possibility ; I have a machine erected, which I am ready to exhibit to the 
view of your Grace, or of any proper judge of mechanical performances 
whenever you shall be pleased to nominate. I shall decline no trial ; I shall 
seek no subterfuge ; but shall shew, not by argument, but practical expe- 
rience, that what I have here promised will be easily performed. 

" I am an old man, oppressed with many infirmities, and therefore 
cannot pay that attendance which your Grace's high quality demands, and 
my respect would dictate ; but whenever you shall be pleased to assign me 
an audience, I shall explain my design with the openness of a man who 
desires to hide nothing, and receive your Grace's commands with the sub- 
mission which becomes, 

« My Lord, 

" Your Grace's most obedient 

and most humble servant." 

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indefatigable Governor of the Hospital at Ackworth, in 
which he says to the Treasurer in London, *'Mr. Paine 
has wrote about clothing for the artists of the Turk^s 
Head Club, and I should be glad to know if the 
twenty you speak of are not the same he writes about, 
and says will be in number sixty in a little time. He 
writes in the name of those gentlemen who will honour 
us with an uniform against their next Annual Meeting. 
I am to send him patterns of colours, but hope hell 
choose that of your coat or something near it, because 
the deep coppers, from the nature of the dye, render 
the wool too tender for the spinning of our young 
artists to make any moderate profit. Of this you'll 
please to give a hint, as it may not be so proper to 
insert it in my letter to him, which probably he will 
show to his brethren." 

•'Turk's Head Tavern, December 7, 1760. 

"We whose names are hereunto subscribed, do agree 
1^0 appear next 5th November, at the Artists' Feast,* 
at the Foundling Hospital, in Lamb's Conduit Fields, 
in a suit of clothes manufactured by the children of 
the Hospital, at Ackworth, in Yorkshire, to be all of 
one colour, and that they be made in Yorkshire. 

Chrisr. Seaton. John Seaton, Jerh. Meyer, John 
Gwynn, Wm. Chambery, Edwd. Booker, Richd. Dalton, 
W. Tyler, Jas. Paine, Js. McArdell, K. Coase, W. H. 
Spang, Saml. Wale, Fra. Milner Newton, Nath. Honey, 
G. M. Moser, J. Reynolds, T. Hayman, T, White, G. 
Whatley, P. Sandby, T. Major, Thos. Brand, C. HolUs, 

* There is a Punch-Bowl preserved at the Hospital, used on these occasions. 

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E. Hayward, Josh. Wilton, John Lockman, Richd. Yeo, 
R, Wilson, Thos. Chambers, Wm. Ryland, Henry Hol- 
land, Richd Francklin, George Evans, L. B. Roubiliac, 
John Lockman (for Mr. William Deard, at his request), 
Mr. Dubiggan, Wm, Fletcher, S. Ravenet, Frs, Reiben- 
stein, W. Thomson.'' 

At what precise period these meetings of the artists 
at the. Hospital ceased is not known, but there is no 
doubt that as the Royal Academy, which was founded 
in 1768, became established and consolidated, the con- 
vivial presence of its members was transferred to a 
more appropriate arena. The "Gentleman's Magazine," 
of the 5th November, 1763, thus testifies that up to 
that period the meetings were still continued. 

" The Artists of London and Westminster held their 
Anniversary at the Foundling Hospital in commemo- 
ration of the day, and were entertained by the children 
v^ith an anthem. A blind boy performed on the organ, 
and a little girl of five years of age the solo part of the 
vocal music." 

Charles Lamb, in one of his critical essays, remarks 
that Hogarth seemed to take 4)articular delight in in- 
troducing Children into his works. 

As evidence that this characteristic was not the 
mere ideality of a painter, but emanated from that 
generous heart which guided his actions, the following 
anecdote of this extraordinary man is recorded. 

It was the practice at this period of the Hospital, 
(as indeed it is at the present time) to nurse the 
Children of the establishment in the country till about 

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three years of age, by distributing them amongst cot- 
tagers in certain districts, superintended by competent 
authorities in the neighbourhood. 

These authorities formerly performed their interest- 
ing office gratuitously y and they consisted of resident 
gentry or ladies. In or about the year 1760, the Gov- 
ernors, at the request of Hogarth, sent several of 
these infants to Chiswick, where the painter resided, 
he engaging, along with Mrs. Hogarth, to see them 
properly taken care of It is impossible to revert to 
the life of Hogarth, so full of labour in his art, and 
at the latter period of his existence, so charged 
with vexation and controversy, by reason of the de- 
fection and abuse of his quondam friends, Wilkes and 
Churchill, without feeling some degree of admiration 
for one, who amidst all this, should be found engaged 
in so humble a charity as that of watching over the 
destiny of parentless and helpless foundlings. 

Charity has the peculiar charm of engaging for her 
attendants, men of all kinds of political sentiments, 
but even she is not free from the consequences of 
private enmity or animosity. This was evidenced by 
the quarrel between Wilkes and Hogarth. They were 
bpth associated in the same work of benevolence at 
the Foundling Hospital, meeting at the some board as 
Governors, but no sooner did a personal quarrel arise 
between them, than they ceased to attend in their 
places, as if each was afraid of meeting the other, even 
within the walls of Charity herself. 

"Before the birth of Hogarth," say Cunningham, 
"there are many centuries in which we relied wholly 

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on foreign skill. With him and after him arose a 
succession of eminent painters, who have spread the 
fame of British Art far and wide/' The works of 
some of those who arose with him will be found in 
the catalogue of pictures belonging to the Hospital 
at the end of this book. Though dazzled by the lumi- 
naries in art in these modem days, we must not 
forget that their fires have been kindled by the lesser 
lights of the past. 


The Chapel was erected, by subscription, in the year 
1747, on the original plan of Mr. Jacobsen, forming 
the centre feature of the north and south fronts of the 
Hospital building. 

Its frontage was then limited in extent to the five 
middle divisions of the open arcades, and the elevation 
of the superstructure being detached from the main 
buildings on each side, presented more distinctness of 
character in itseli^ and was advantageous in its efiect 
to the general design of the building. The lower part, 
or ground plan of the chapel, wasi^us isolated by a 
continued arched corridor, formifig a sub-structure fopx 
the extention of the upper part, which, on the north 
and south sides, became a portion of the original 
building, and was subsequently extended over the east 
and west ends. 

The lower area of the building * continues of the 
original extent, its enclosure forming the appropriate 

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basement of a regular colonnade and entablature of 
the Ionic order, raised on pedestals, with intermediate 
continued balustrade, enclosing the front of the sittings 
in the upper part of the building throughout. 

A coved ceiling, of handsome design, springing from 
the entablature of the colonnade, extends over the 
central area, or main division of building, with en- 
riched bands and pendants on its soffite, and the ceil- 
ings of the side and east-end divisions are emiched by 
soffites and arched bands, of appropriate unity of 
design with the architecture of the colonnade. 

The west end is entirely appropriated to the occu- 
pation of the children, and for the organ and choir. 

The design and eflFect of the interior of this building 
are admitted to be striking and impressive ; and as 
an instance in the mode of distribution of so large a 
portion of the congregation, at an upper level, with 
pleasing uniformity and picturesque architectural 
eflFect, without the disfigurement generally attendant 
upon galleries, under the most favourable circum- 
stancs ; it may be considered a specimen of some 
originality, and worthy of observation. Some alter- 
ation and improvement of the details of the style and 
decoration of the interior, was probably made at the 
period (rf the extention of this building, and the win- 
dows at the eastern end filled with stained glass. 
This enrichment has lately been extended also to the 
windows on the south front. 

The paneling on the sides of the lower area, forming 
the basement of the colonnade, being of regular design 
and suitable proportions for pictures, would, at this 

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favourable period for the advancement of fresco paint- 
ing, become peculiarly appropriate for a partial, if not 
entire application of them for sacred subjects, after 
the great masters, and congenial to the spirit and 
advancement of the British art, and the distinguished 
artists that fostered the original establishment of the 

The simple and appropriate distinction given to the 
divisions of paneling immediately connected with the 
altar^table, on the east side, could always be continued 
to be maintained. The cost of the erection of the 
Chapel was £6,490. 

Some of the windows of the Chapel are ornamented 
by the armorial bearings of the Governors and Bene- 
factors, in stained glass, and there is a fine represent- 
ation of " Faith, Hope, and Charity,'' by Wilmshurst, 
which forms the centre window of the eastern gallery. 

The advertisement inviting subscribers set forth, 
" that the Governors being earnestly desirous that the 
children under their care should be early instructed in 
the principles of religion and morality, and having no 
place of puplic worship to which the children and 
servants of the Hospital could conveniently resort, 
have resolved to erect a Chapel adjoiniug to their Hos- 
pital ; but that no part of the revenue of the said 
Hospital which is or shall be given for the support of 
the children, may be diverted from that use ; and in 
order to defray the expense of erecting the said Chapel, 
they have opened a subscription for that purpose.'' 

His Majesty George II. subscribed £2,000 towards 
the erection, and afterwards £1,000 towards supplying 

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a preacher in the Chapel, to instruct the children in 
the Christian religion, and for other incidental ex- 
penses. The communion plate was presented by a 
Governor who desired to be "unknown;'' and the 
King's upholsterer gave the velvets for the pulpit, &c. 
The (Governors had been early taught that their 
Chapel was capable of being converted into a source 
of pecuniary means for increasing the usefulness of the 
work they had in hand. What Handel began, other 
eminent musicians continued, and the Governors having 
received several blind children into the establishment 
(during the general and indiscriminate admission), 
they were instructed in music, and became a fruitful 
source of advantage to the funds of the charity. For 
upwards of one hundred and thirty years the Chapel 
has been established, and if the taste of the public 
for sacred music has increased and that taste has any 
beneficial influence on the minds of the people, it has 
been one of the humble instruments for effecting it.* 

* The olass of mnsio used in the ohapel has, daring the last sixtj years 
undergone a great change, doubtless in favour of the more refined taste of 
modem times. The original Choir of the Chapel consisting of Blind 
Foundlings, the music was necessarily adapted to their powers and capacities. 
In fact, most of the popular Hymns sung in the Chapel at the time, were 
written and composed for them. The Poet of the Chapel was the Resident 
Apothecary, Mr. MoLellan. The words of two of his Hymns appear to me 
to be worth noticing here. The music of the first was by Dr. Cook ; the 
second, by Jolm Printer, a Blind Foundling. 


Be JO ICE, the promis'd Saviour's come j 

Him shall the blind behold. 
The deaf shall hear ; and by the dumb 

His wond'rous works be told. 

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The expenses in supporting the Chapel are very 
considerable, and the only return is from the pew 
rents and contributions of the public at the Chapel 
doors; should these diminish so as to reduce the income 

The wearj nations shall have rest, 

The rage of war shall cease ; 
The earth with innocence be blest, 

And plenty dwell with peace. 

Light from its sacred sonrce shall spread 

Cer all its saving beams ; 
In pastures fair shall all be fed, 

All drink of comfort's streams. 

Sweet as the breeze on Garmers brow, 
The waste shall shed perf nme ; 

There lilies spring, and violets grow. 
And Sharon's rose shall bloom. 

Eejoice, the promised Saviour's come; 

Him shall the blind behold, 
The deaf shall hear ; and by the dumb 

His wond'rous works be told. 


Almiohtt Lord ! dispose each mind 
To seek the good of human kind j 
Teach us with others' joys to glow j 
Teach us to feel for others* woe. 

Behold in misery's dreary shade, 
The widow with her children laid ; 
Hear them, with piteous moans, deplore 
Husband and father now no more. 

The helpless babe, by hunger prest. 
Clings to the famish'd mother's breast : 
In vain it ev'ry effort tries. 
Life's fountains yield it no supplies. 

Thanks be to God, who heard our cry 
When not one earthly friend was nigh ! 
To Him our voices let us raise 
In songs of gratitude and praise. 

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below the expenditure, the Gk^vemors would have no 
alternative but to lessen the attractiveness of the 
service by dispensing with the choir. 

Handel. — Handel, as if influenced by a kindred 
feeling with Hogarth (for genius is ever noble and 
generous), very soon engaged in the work of charity 
at this popular institution. On the 4th May, 1749, 
he attended the Committee at the Hospital, and offered 
a performance of vocal and instrumental music, the 
money arising therefrom to be applied towards finish- 
ing of the Chapel. 

This performance is thus alluded to in the "Gen- 
tleman's Magazine " of that month : — 

" The Prince and Princess of Wales, with a great 
number of persons of quality and distinction, were at 
the Chapel of the Foundling Hospital, to hear several 
pieces of vocal and instrumental music composed by 
George Frederick Handel, Esq., for the benefit of the 
foundation. 1st. The music of the late Fire Works, 
and the anthem on the Peace ; 2nd. Select pieces from 
the Oratorio of Solomon, relating to the dedication of 
the temple ; and 3rd. Several pieces composed for the 
occasion, the words taken from Scripture, applicable 
to the charity and its benefactors. There was no 
collection, but the tickets were at half-a-guinea, and 
the audience above a thousand.'^ 

For this act of benevolence on the part of Handel, 
he was immediately enrolled as one of the Governors 
and Gtuardians of the Hospital. 

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During every year after this, until his infirmity 
obliged him to relinquish his profession, he superin- 
tended personally the performance of his matchless 
Oratorio of the Messiah, in the Chapel, which netted to 
the Treasury of the Charity no less a sum than £7,000. 

The Governors of the Hospital seeing the profitable- 
ness of this performance, and being (as it appeared) 
misinformed of Handel's intention regarding the copy- 
right, prepared a petition to Parliament to secure it 
for themselves The latter part of this petition is as 
follows : — 

"That in order to raise a further sum for the benefit 
of the said Charity, George Frederick Handel, Esq. 
hath been charitably pleased to give to this corpo- 
ration a composition of musick, called * The Oratorio 
of the Messiah,' composed by him the said George 
Frederick Handel, reserving to himself the liberty only 
of performing the same for his own benefit during his 
life; and whereas the said benefaction cannot be 
secured to the sole use of your petitioners, therefore 
humbly pray, that leave may be given to bring in a 
bill for the purposes aforesaid." 

Upon one of the Governors waiting upon the mu- 
sician with this form of petition, he soon discovered 
that the Committee of the Hospital had built upon a 
wrong foundation ; for Handel, bursting into a rage, 
exclaimed — " Te Deivel ! for vat sal de Foundling put 
mein oratorio in de Parlement ? Te Deivel ! mein 
music sal not go to de Parlement V 

Here the matter dropped, never to be revived. At 
the completion of the Chapel, Handel presented the 

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Governors with an organ, which he opened on the 1st 
May, 1750, when the concourse of persons was so 
great that the performance was repeated fifteen days 
afterwards. Upon one of these occasion the audience 
was conveyed in no less than 800 coaches and chairs. 

The Governors of the Hospital felt, naturally enough, 
a deep aflfection and veneration for Handel; and there- 
fore, when, in April 1753, a foolish paragraph appeared 
in the daily papess, stating that he was preparing a 
funeral anthem, to be performed in the Chapel of the 
Hospital after his death, the Committee desired their 
Secretary to acquaint him, "That the said paragraph 
has given this Committee great concern, they being 
highly sensible that all well-wishers to this charity 
must be desirous for the continuance of his life, who 
has been and is so great and generous a benefactor 

With the full concurrence of Handel, the Govemers 
appointed his amanuensis and assistant, Mr. John Chris- 
topher Smith, the first organist of the Chapel. 

At the death of the great musician, it was found he 
had made the following bequest : — " I give a fair copy 
of the score, and all the parts of my oratorio, called 
' The Messiah,' to the Foundling Hospital." The Gov- 
ernors resolved, in grateful memory of their friend 
and benefactor, to have a dirge and funeral anthem 
performed in the Chapel, on the 26th May, 1759, on 
the occasion of his demise, which performance took 
place under the direction of the organist of the Chapel, 
Mr. John Christopher Smith. 

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Benjamin West^ R.A, — On the finishing of the 
Chapel, Chevalier Casali presented the Governors with 
an altar-piece, the subject being " The OflFering of the 
Wise Men/' This picture occupied its appropriate 
place till 1801, when two of the Vice-Presidents, John 
Wilmot, Esq., and Thomas Everett, Esq., M.P„ together 
with Sir Thomas Bernard, Bart., (the Treasurer,) and 
John Puget, Esq., agreed to purchase and present to 
the Hospital a picture by West, namely — Christ pre- 
senting a little Child* This picture had been in the 
hands of a party, by whose mismanagement it had 
suffered some injury, and therefore West, in his 
determination to make it fully acceptable to the 
Governors, almost entirely repainted it. "The care** 
(he says) " with which I have passed that picture, I 
flatter myself has now placed it in the first class of 
pictures from my pencil ; at least, I have the satis- 
faction to find that to be the sentiment of the judges 
of painting who have seen it/' 

For this act of generosity, the Governors resolved 
to elect West one of their corporate body. 

He appears to have been highly flattered by this 
compliment, and in acknowledging it, states that his 
professional duties will not permit him to become an 
active member of the Corporation, but to show his 
respect and good wishes for the establishment in the 

♦ "And Jesns called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of 

" And said, Verily I say nnto you, Except ye be converted, and become 
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

"And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.** 

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only way he could make a return, he intended to add 
to the embellishment of the Chapel as follows : — 

" There are '^ (he says) " on each side the place of 
Communion in the Chapel, opposite the Governors' 
and Governors' Ladies' seats, two panels, well calcu- 
lated to receive paintings. If the Governors will 
concur, at my leisure I propose to paint two pictures 
from sacred history to fill those panels, which I shall 
beg the Corporation to accept of, as a mark of my 
respect for the Institution, at the same time, to ask of 
them the exclusive right of having prints taken from 
those pictures." 

It need not be added that the Governors imme- 
diately accepted this munificent and charitable offer, 
but it is to be lamented that the leisure of the artist 
never arrived, and that the work remains undone. If, 
perchance, any modem artist should read this, and 
have a laudable desire to establish his fame, he cannot 
do better than carry out the intention of West. 

In 1816, the Chapel being then under repair. West 
had the Altar-Piece taken to his house and again 
re-touched it, returning it to its place with strong 
expressions towards this favourite work of his hand. 


Beneath the Chapel are capacious Vaults, in which 
were deposited in 1751, the remains of the Founder, 
at his own request ; since which many of the Gover- 

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nors have also been buried there. The coffins, which 
are of lead, are enclosed in stone catacombs. Amongst 
the departed, who were distinguished for their zeal in 
the cause of the Charity, within whose walls they now 
rest, the following may be specially noticed, viz : — 

1803. — The Rev. Samuel Harper^ M.A. 

1807. — William George Sibley, Esq. 

1808. — Anthony Van Dam, Esq. 

1810. — Thomas Everett, Esq., M.P. 

1813. — Michael Heathcote, Esq. 

1818. — William Watson, Esq., F.R.S. 

1818. — Sir Thomas Bernard, Baronet. 

1819. — John Owen Parr, Esq. 

1820. — William Nanson, Esq. 

1822. — John Stephenson, Esq. 

IS23.-- Robert Raynsford, Esq. 

1827. — Philip Jackson, Esq. 

1830.— John Heath, Esq. 

1831. — Thomas Smith, Esq. 

1831. — Richard Smith, Esq. 

1832. — The Right Honourable Lord Tenterden.^ 

* Lord Tenterden, before the labonrs of his judicial functions engrossed 
the whole of his time, took an active part in the administration of the affairs 
of the Foundling Hospital, and wrote the following verses, to be set to 
music, and sung at the commemorative festival of the Gk)vemors : — 

« The ship sail'd smoothly o*er the sea, 

By gentle breezes fann'd. 
When Coram, musing at the helm. 

This happy fabric planned : 
Not in the schools by sages thought 

To woo fair virtue's form ; 
But nursed on danger's flinty lap. 

And tutor'd by the storm. 

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1832. — William Holden, Esq. 
1834. — William Hammond, Esq, 
ISSi.-T-Chmstopher Stanger, M.D. 
1838. — Charles Jam^s Johnstone, M.D. 
1839. — Arthur Brown Blakiston, Esq\ 
1839. — Samuel Compton Cox, Esq. 
1839. — Sir Stephen Oaselee, Knight. 
1839. — Hugh Edwards, Esq. 
1840. — Anthony V. D. Searle Van Dam, Esq. 
1842. — Peregrine DeaUry, Esq. 
\Ui.—The Rev. John Hewlett, B.D. 
1847. — Joseph Kay, Esq. 

" When threatening tempests round him rag*d. 

And swelling billows heaVd, 
His bark a wretched orphan seem'd, 

Of aid and hope bereav'd. 
If through the clouds a golden gleam 

Broke sweetly from aboye, 
He bless'd the smiling emblem there 

Of charity and love. 

« Around the glowing land he spread 

Warm pity's magic spell, 
And tender bosoms leam'd from him 

With softer sighs to swell. 
Beauty and wealth, and wit and power, 

The various aid combined; 
And angels smiled upon the work 

That Coram had designed. 

"Virtue and meekness mark'd his face 

With characters benign. 
And Hogarth's colours yet display 

The lineaments divine ; 
Our ground his ashes sanctify. 

Our songs his praise employs ; 
His spirit with the bless'd above 

His full reward enjoys." 


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1849. — Robert Rainy Pennington, Esq. 
1849. — John ThomaSy Esq. 
1850. — George Pardee, M.D. 
1852. — John Mackenzie, Esq. 
1854. — James Kendle Brovme, Esq. 
1855. — William Hammond, Esq. 
1857. — Henry Denton, Esq. 
1859. — Daniel Rowland, Esq. 
1860. — Charles Plumley, Esq. 
1861. — Dr. Clement Hue. 
1863. — Rev. Josiah Forshall, M.A. 
I86i.— Charles Pott, Esq. 


In July, 1774, Dr. Bumey and Mr. Giardini, at- 
tended the Court of Governors, and proposed a plan 
for forming a Public Music School, by means of the 
children of the Hospital, which, having been taken into 
consideration, was unanimously accepted as "likelK 
to be of considerable advantage to this Corporation,^ 
and of national utility.^ / 

The Court immediately set about opening a sub- 
scription roll (which received the support of the 
Dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland), and appointed 
a special Committee to ** digest and form the properest 
method for carrying the said plan into execution,'' the 
Committee to consist of all the members of the Court 

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present, and the Duke of Portland, the Earl of Ash- 
bumham, the Earl of Dartmouth, Lord Le Despencer, 
and Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, Bart. 

But it was the fate of this scheme to be nipped in 
the bud. Its opponents proposed and carried a reso- 
lution at the next Court, which completely set it aside. 
The resolution was this — " It appeared to this Court 
that the plan of a public music school, by way of em- 
ployment of the children, is not warranted by the Act 
of Parliament.'' 

Madame d'Arblay,"^ in her Memoirs of Dr. Burney 
(her father), gives the following graphical account of 
this transaction : — 

" But neither the pain of his illness, nor the pleasure 
of his recovery, nor even the loved labours of his 
history, oflFered sufficient occupation for the insatiate 
activity of his mind. No sooner did he breathe again 
the breath of health, resume his daily business, and 
return to his nocturnal studies, than a project occurred 
to him of a new undertaking, which would have seemed 
to demand the whole time and undivided attention of 
almost any other man. 

" This was nothing less than to establish, in England, 
a seminary for the education of musical pupils of both 
sexes, upon a plan of which the idea should be bor- 
rowed, though the execution should almost wholly 
be new modelled, from the Conservatories of Naples 
and Vienna. 

"As disappointment blighted this scheme, just as 

♦ The celebrated Miss Burney, author of "Evelina," &c. 

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it seemed maturing to fruition, it would be to little 
purpose to enter minutely into its details ; and yet, 
as it is a striking feature of the fervour of Dr. Bumey 
for the advancement of his art, it is not its failure 
through the secret workings of undermining prejudice, 
that ought to induce his biographer to omit recount- 
ing so interesting an intention and attempt ; and the 
less, as a plan, in many respects similar, has recently 
been put into execution, without any reference to the 
original projector. 

"The motives that suggested this undertaking to 
Dr. Bumey, with the reasons by which they were in- 
fluenced and supported, were to this effect : — 

" In England, where more splendid rewards await 
the favourite votaries of musical excellence than in 
any other spot on the globe, there was no establishment 
of any sort for forming such artists as might satisfy 
the real connoisseur in music, and save English talent 
from the mortification, and the British purse from the 
depredations of seeking a constant annual supply of 
genius and merit from foreign shores. 

y^ " An institution, therefore, of this character, seemed 
wanting to the state for national economy, and to the 
people for national encouragement. 

X " Such was the enlarged view which Dr. Bumey, 
while yet in Italy, had taken of such a plan for Ids 
own country. 

"The difficulty of collecting proper subjects to 
form its members, caused great diversity of opinion 
and of proposition amongst the advisers with whom 
Dr. Burney consulted. 

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" It was peculiarly necessary that these young dis- 
ciples should be free from every sort of contamination, 
mental or corporal, upon entering this musical asylum 
that they might spread no dangerous contagion of 
either sort, but be brought up to the practice of the 
art, with all its delightful powers of pleasing, chastened 
from their abuse. 

"With such a perspective, to take promiscuously 
the children of the poor, merely where they had an 
ear for music, or a voice for song, would be running 
the risk of gathering together a mixed little multitude, 
which, from intermingling inherent vulgarity, hereditary 
diseases, or vicious propensities, with the finer qualities 
requisite for admission, might render the cultivation 
of their youthful talents, a danger, if not a curse, to 
the country. 

"Yet, the length of time that might be required 
for selecting little subjects of this unadulterated 
description from diflferent quarters, with the next to 
impossibility of tracing, with any certainty, what 
might have been their real conduct in times past, or 
what might be their principles to give any basis of 
security for the time to come, caused a perplexity 
of the most serious species ; for should a single one of 
the tribe go astray, the popular cry against teaching 
the arts to the poor would stamp the whole little 
community with a stain indelible, and the institution 
itself might be branded with infamy. 

" What abstractedly was desirable, was, to try this 
experiment upon youthful beings to whom the world 
was utterly unknown, and who, not only in innocence 

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had breathed their infantine lives, but in complete 
and unsuspicious ignorance of evil. 

'^ Requisites so hard to obtain, and a dilemma so 
intricate to unravel, led the Doctor to think of the 
Foundling Hospital, in the neighbourhood of which, 
in Queen Square, stood his present dwelling. 

"He communicated, therefore his project to Sir 
Charles Whitworth, the Governor of the Hospital 
Sir Charles thought it proper, feasible, desirable, and 

"The Doctor, thus seconded, drew up a plan for 
forming a musical conservatorio in the metropolis of 
England, and in the bosom of the Foundling Hospital. 

" The intention was to collect from the whole little 
corps all who had musical ears or tuneful voices, to be 
brought up scientifically as instrumental or vocal per- 
formers. Those of the group who gave no decided 
promise of such qualifications, were to go on with their 
•Ordinary education, and to abide by its ordinary result, 
according to the original regulations of the charity. 

" A meeting of the Governors and Directors was 
convened by their chief. Sir Charles Whitworth, for 
announcing this scheme. The plan was heard with 
general approbation, but the discussions to which it 
gave rise were discursive and perplexing. 

" It was objected, that music was an art of luxury, 
by no means requisite to life, or accessory to morality. 
These children were all meant to be educated as plain 
but essential members of the general community. 
They were to be trained up to useful purposes, with 
a singleness that would ward ofi' all ambition for what 

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was higher, and teach them to repay the benefit of \ 
their support by cheerful labour. To stimulate them ' 
to superior views might mar the religious object of the 
charity, which was to nullify rather than extinguish 
all disposition to pride, vice, or voluptuousness, such 
as, probably, had demoralized their culpable parents, 
and thrown these deserted outcasts upon the mercy of 
the Foundling Hospital. 

" Thi» representation, the Doctor acknowledged, 
would be unanswerable, if it were decided to be right, 
and if it were judged to be possible, wholly to ex- 
tirpate the art of music in the British empire, or, if 
the Foundling Hospital were to be considered as a 
seminary, predestined to menial servitude, and as the 
only institution of the country where the members 
were to form a caste, from whose rules and plodden 
ways no genius could ever emerge. 

"But such a fiat could never be issued by John 
Bull, nor so flat a stamp be struck upon any portion 
of his countrymen. John Bull was at once too liberal 
and too proud to seek to adopt the tame ordinances of 
the immutable Hindoos, with whom ages past un- 
marked, generations unchanged, the poor never richer, 
the simple never wiser, and with whom, family by 
family, and trade by trade, begin, continue, and 
terminate their monotonous existence by the same 
predetermined course, and to the same invariable 

" These children, the Doctor answered, are all 
orphans ; they are taken from no family, for by none 
are they owned ; they are drawn from no calling, for 

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to none are they specifically bred. They are all 
brought up to menial ofl&ces, though they are all 
instructed in reading and writing, and the females 
^j f in needlework; but they are all systematicaUy and 
indiscriminately destined to be servants or apprentices 
at the age of fifteen ; fix)m which period, all their hold 
^^"^ I upon the benevolent institution to which they are 

indebted for their infantine rescue from perishing cold 
and starving want, with their subsequent mainten- 
ance and tuition, is rotarily transferred to new-bom 
claimants ; for the Hospital then has fulfilled its en- 
gagements, and the children must go forth to the 
world, whether to their benefit or their disgrace. 

" Were it not better, then, when there are subjects 
who are success inviting, to bestow upon them pro- 
fessional improvement, with virtuous education ? — 
since, as long as operas, concerts, and theatres are 
licensed by government, musical performers, vocal and 
instrumental, will inevitably be wanted, employed, and 
remunerated : and every state is surely best served, 
and the people of every country are surely the most 
encouraged, when the nation suffices for itself, and no 
foreign aid is necessarily called in, to share either the 
fame or emoluments of public performances ? 

"Stop, then; prohibit, proscribe — if it be possible — 
all taste for foreign refinements, and for the exquisite 
finishing of foreign melody and harmony, or establish 
a school on our own soil, in which, as in painting and 
in sculpture, the foreign perfection of arts may be 
taught, transplanted, and culled, till they become 

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121 s .^ ^'^ 

/ \ 0^ '' 

/ " And where, if not here, may £(ubjects be found on Xt>>\j ^ 

/whom such a national trial may be made with the /^ (^ 

'^Jgagt danger of injury ? Subjects who have been \ 

brought up with the strictness of regular habits that , -^ 

has warded them from all previous mischief, yet who I \ \ 
are too helpless and ignorant, as well as poor, to be | \ 
able to develop whether or not nature, in her secret \ 
workings, has kindled within their unconscious bosoms 
a spark — a single spark of harmonic fire, that might 
light them from being hewers of wood and brushers 
of spiders, to those regions of vocal and instrumental 
excellence, that might propitiate the project of drawing 
from our own culture a school for music, of which 
the students, under proper moral and religious tutelage, ^ 
might, in time, supersede the foreign auxiliaries by 
whom they are now utterly extinguished. 

"The objectors were charged, also, to weigh well 
that there was no law or regulation, and no means 
whatsoever that could prevent any of this little asso- 
ciation from becoming singers and players, if they had 
musical powers, and such should be their wish ; 
though, if self-thrown into that walk, singers and 
players only at the lowest theatres, or at the tea 
and public gardens, or even in the streets, as fiddlers 
of country dances, or as ballad squallers, in which 
degraded exercise of their untaught endowments not 
only decent life must necessarily be abandoned, but 
immorality, licentiousness, and riot, must assimilate 
with, or rather form a prominent part of their exhi- 
bitions and performances. 

" Here the discussion closed. The opponents were 

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silenced, if not convinced, and the trial of the project 
was decreed. The hardly-fought battle over, victory, 
waving her gay banners, that wafted to the Doctor 
hopes of future renown with present benediction, 
determined him, for the moment, to relinquish even 
his history, that he might devote every voluntary 
thought to consolidating this scheme. 

^ The primary object of his consideration, because 
the most conscientious, was the preservation of the 
morals and fair conduct of the pupils. And here, 
the exemplary character and the purity of the 
principles of Dr. Bumey would have shone forth to 
national advantage, had the expected prosperity of 
his design brought his meditated regulations into 

" Vain would it be to attempt, and useless, if not 
vain, to describe his indignant consternation, when, 
while in the full occupation of these arrangements, a 
letter arrived to him from Sir Charles Whitworth, to 
make known, with great regret, that the undertaking 
was suddenly overthrown. The enemies to the at- 
tempt, who had seemed quashed, had merely lurked 
in ambush, to watch for an unsuspected moment to 
/convene a partial Committee, in which they voted out 
/ the scheme as an innovation upon the original purpose 
"? ^ of the Institution ; and pleading, also, an old Act of 
Parliament against its adoption, they solemnly pro- 
scribed it for ever.^ 

• This apparent want of liberality on the part of the Governors in the 
mental culture of the children, reminds one of a darker period of the history 


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" Yet a repeal of that Act had been fully intended 
before the plan, which, hitherto had only been 
agitating and negotiating, should have been put into 

"All of choice, however, and all of respect that 
remained for Dr. Bumey, consisted in a personal oflfer 
from Sir Charles Whitworth, to re-assemble an op- 
posing meeting amongst those friends who, previously, 
had carried the day. 

" But happy as the Doctor would have been to have 
gained, with the honour of general approbation, a 
point he had elaborately studied to clear from mys- 
tifying objections, and to render desirable even to 
patriotism, his pride was justly hurt by so abrupt a 
defalcation ; and he would neither with open hostility, 
nor under any versatile contest, become the founder or 
chief of so important an enterprise. 

"He gave up, therefore, the attempt, without 
further struggle ; simply recommending to the mature 
reflections of the members of the last Committee, 
whether it were not more pious, as well as more 
rational to endeavour to ameliorate the character 
and lives of practical musical novitiates, than to 
behold the nation, in its highest classes, cherish 
the art, follow it, embellish it with riches, and make 

of this small commxinity. Dr. Johnson writes, in 1756 : — " When a few 
months ago, I wandered throngh the Hospital, I found not a child that 
seemed to have heard of his creed or the commandments. To breed up 
children in this manner, is to rescue them from an early grave, that they 
may find employment for the gibbet : from dying in innocence, that they 
may perish by their crimes." 

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it fashion and pleasure ; while, to train to that art, 
with whatever precautions, its appropriate votaries 
from the bosom of our own country, seemed to call for 
opposition, and to deserve condemnation. 

"Thus died, in its birth, this interesting project, 
which, but for this brief sketch, might never have been 
known to have brightened the mind, as one of the 
projects, or to have mortified it, as one of the failures, 
of the active and useful life of Dr. Bumey/' 


Happily, the prejudices so fatal to Dr. Burney's 
scheme, at the period alluded to, do not prevail with 
the Governors of the present day ; whose proceedings, 
with reference to the same subject, stand out in bold 
relief, when contrasted with that of their predecessors 
of 1774, — for when, in 1847, it was demonstltated to 
them, by the then Secretary, that the establishment 

<of a Juvenile Band of musicians, from amongst the 
boys, would be attended with advantages to them in 
Jife, they did not hesitate readily to adopt the 
suggestion. The proposal was immediately put into 
practice, and the results are highly satisfactory, 
proving (if indeed proof were necessary) that the 
^cultivation of instrumental music amongst the children 
{ of the Hospital is not attended with that degradation 
of moral character so much apprehended in Dr. 

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Burney's time. For not only has the general moral 

character of those instructed in music been improved, 

and their physical capacities enlarged, by the influence 

of music during their stay in the Hospital ; but so far as i , ^ v 

has been manifested during the time in which music ^ 

has been taught amongst them, considerable social ^ 

advantages have been derived by many of them from , 

this source when they have quitted the establishment, 

— ^fully demonstrating the practicability of Dr/Bume/s 

scheme, and that there is nothing to fear fix)m the 

" popular cultivation of music,'* provided due regard , 

be had to the scientific treatment of the art. 

It is now some years since the band was formed, 
numbering about thirty boys from nine to fourteen 
years. This number has, ever since, been maintained, 
sometimes exceeded. The boys are selected from 
amongst those who possess a musical ear, due regard 
being paid to their physical development. As the 
musical instruments, to which they are placed, are 
essentially men's instruments, considerable physical ^^^ 
exertion is required in plajing upon them. Great \ j^^ 
care is, therefore bestowed in watching the eflfects this 
early application produces upon the health of the 
children ; and no instance has ever occurred of injury 
being done by blowing. On the contrary, boys of 
delicate constitution have greatly improved in health 
from the exercise of a wind instrument. 

As a considerable portion of the time allotted to the 
practice of music is drawn from the ordinary school i^ 
hours, great care has, also, been taken to ascertain how 
far the band-boys are — when brought in competition 


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at the annual school examination with other boys not 
in the band — aflfected by this arrangement, and the 
results have shown that a full proportion of the prizes, 
awarded for scholastic pursuits has been constantly 
carried off by band-boys. This success at school may 
fairly be attributed to the salutary effects of music 
upon the character of those boys receiving instruction 
in the art, which imparts a vivacity to their tempers, 
and by its enlightening influence, renders the mental 
capacities more energetic and susceptible of receiving 
general instruction, than the faculties of the other 
boys attain, who do not enjoy the advantage of 
musical tuition. 

During the period the band has been formed, a 
large number of the boys have received instruction, of 
whom, many, at their own desire, have been placed as 
musicians in the bands of Her Majesty's Household 
Troops, and other regiments, and also in the Koyal 
Navy. Thus, while securi ng an elifflble position in 
life for t he boys, ^as the ^^^^^''l"..^^,^hft bflinrl pro^^j 
by saving the earpenses of premium aiidi^utififi allowed 
for "each boy ordmarily apprenticed^., .^Lof considerab le 
advantage to this corporation^ and ofmiikmaJLii^My*^ 
Nor should it be lost sight of, that very many of the 
boys who have passed through the band, and are now 
occupied in various trades to which they have been 
apprenticed, hayaJfellpwed ^T^lih^i^,^^^"^^ as ^ ^or^y^, 
ation with satisfaction to themselves, an d to th ose 
with whom it is their lot to be placed^^ , 

TThe great success which attended the establishment 
of the juvenile band, and the want of proper accom- 

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modation for the practice of it, induced the Governors 
to erect a '' Band Room/' and this has been followed 
by several gifts in connection with it, both useful and 

The late Lieut. -Colonel James C. Hyde presented a 
set of brass instruments for the use of the boys, and a 
series of valuable and unique drawings, by Native 
Artists of India, for the adornment of the walls. 

The late Baron Heath gave portraits of Carl Von 
Weber and Sir George Smart. 

The late William Foster White, Esq. presented 
fourteen busts of Eminent Composers, on appropriate 
pedestals; and the record of these liberal acts, in 
relation to the musical advancement of the children, 
would be incomplete if the donation of J. P. Gassiot, 
Esq. of a grand pianoforte, for the use of the musical 
Instructors generally, was not here acknowledged. 

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▲T THl 


®!t^ d^ottitt loom. 


^^And the angel of the Lord called to Hagar out of 
heaven^ and said to her, What aileth thee, Hagar ? 
Fear not ; for Ood hath heard the voice of the lad 
where he is" 



'^ Jesus said, Suffer little children to come unto me, 
and forbid them not : for of such is the hiv^dom of 



" And the maid went and called the child's mother. 
And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this 
child and nurse it up for me, and I will give thee thy 


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*^And the child grew, and she brought him unto 
PharaoKs daughter, and he became her son. And she 
called his name Moses" 


" The subject of this picture,'* says Nichols, ** is 
taken at the point of time when the child's mother, 
whom the princess considers as merely its nurse, has 
brought him to his patroness, and is receiving from 
the treasurer the wages of her services. 

" The little foundling naturally clings to his nurse 
though invited to leave her by the daughter of a 
monarch ; and the eyes of an attendant and a 
whispering Ethiopian convey an oblique suspicion 
that the child has a nearer aflSnity to their mistress 
than she chooses to acknowledge/' 

On each side of these large pictra-es are smaller 
ones, of a circular form, representing the principal 
Hospitals of the day, viz. :— 





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Over the Mantle-piece of the Court Boom is a 
beautiful basso-relievo, 

representing children engaged in navigation and hus- 
bandly, being the employments to which the children 
of the Hospital were supposed to be destined. 


Presented by E. W. Wadeson, Esq., Vice-President. 

The side table, of Grecian marble, is supported 
by carved figures in wood, representing children 
playing with a goat, and was presented by Mr. John 
Sanderson (architect), who was employed with others 
in the erection of the Hospital : standing thereon is a 
handsome clock, presented by J. P. Gassiot, Esq., Vice- 

There are also two fine busts, in the Court Room, 
casts from the Antique, one of CaracaUa and the 
other of Marcus Aurelius. They were given by 
Mr, Richard ^ Dalton, who held several important 

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offices connected with the arts, and was sent to Italy 
by George III. to collect articles of vertu to enrich 
His Majesty's collection. 

The ornamented ceiling was done by Mr. Wilton, 
the father of the eminent sculptor. 



The following is considered the most authentic 
account of this celebrated picture, and is from the 
pen of Mr. Justice Welsh, the intimate friend and 
companion of Hogarth. 

"The scene of this representation is laid at Tot- 
tenham Courb Turnpike ; the Bang's Head, Adam and 
Eve, and the turnpike house, in full view; beyond 
which are discovered, parties of the guards, baggage, 
&c., marching towards Highgate, and a beautiful 
distant prospect of the country; the sky finely 
painted. The picture, considered together, affords 
a view of a military march, and the humours and 
disorders consequent thereon. Near the centre of 
the picture, the painter has exhibited his principal 
figure, which is a handsome young grenadier, in 
whose face is strongly depicted repentance mixed 
with pity and concern ; the occasion of which is 
disclosed by two females putting in their claim for 
his person, one of whom has hold of his right arm, 

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and the other has seized his left. The figure upon 
his right hand, and perhaps placed there by the 
painter by way of preference, as the object of love 
is more desirable than that of duty, is a fine young 
girl in her person, debauched, with child, and reduced 
to the miserable employ of selling ballads, and who, 
with a look full of love, tenderness, and distress, 
casts up her eyes upon her undoer, and with tears 
descending down her cheeks, seems to say, *sure 
you cannot — will not leave mel' The person and 
deportment of this figure well justifies the painter's 
turning the body of the youth towards her. The 
woman upon the left is a strong contrast to this 
girl ; for rage and jealousy have thrown the human 
countenance into no amiable or desirable form. This 
is the wife of the youth, who, finding him engaged 
with such an ugly slut, assaults him with a violence 
natural to a woman whose person and beauty are 
neglected. Added to the fury of her countenance, 
and the dreadful weapon her tongue, another terror 
appears in her hand, equally formidable, which is a roll 
of papers, whereon is written *The Remembrancer;* 
a word of dire and triple import ; for while it shows 
the occupation the amiable bearer is engaged in, it 
reminds the youth of an unfortunate circumstance he 
would gladly forget ; and the same word is also a 
cant expression to signify the blow she is meditating. 
And here, I value myself upon hitting the true 
meaning, and entering into the spirit of the great 
author of that celebrated Journal, called ' The 

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" It is easily discernible that the two females are of 
different parties. The ballad of * God save our noble 
King/ and a print of Hhe Duke of Cumberland,' 
in the basket of the girl, and the cross upon the back 
of the wife, with the implements of her occupation, 
sufficiently denote the painter^s intention ; and what 
is truly beautiful these incidents are applicable to 
the march. The hard-favoured sergeant directly 
behind, who enjoys the foregoing scene, is not only a 
good contrast to the youth, but also, with other helps, 
throws forward the principal figure. Upon the right 
of the grenadier is a drummer, who also has his two 
remembrancers, a woman and a boy, the produce of 
their kinder hours; and who have laid their claim 
by a violent seizure upon his person. The figure of 
the woman is that of a complainant, who reminds 
him of her great application, as well in sending him 
clean to guard, as other kind offices done, and his 
promises to make her an honest woman, which he, 
base and ungrateful, has forgot, and pays her affection 
with neglect. The craning of her neck shows her 
remonstrances to be of the shrill kind, in which she 
is aided by the howling of her boy. The drummer, 
who has a mixture of fun and wickedness in his face, 
having heard as many reproaches as suit his present 
inclination, with a bite of his lip and a leering eye, 
applies to the instrument of noise in his profession, 
and endeavours to drown the united clamour, in which 
he is luckily aided by the ear-piercing Jife, near hiTn, 

*• Between the figures before described, but more 
back in the picture, appears the important but meagre 

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pliiz of a Frenchman, in close whisper with an Inde- 
pendent. The first, I suppose a spy upon the motion 
of the army; the other probably drawn into the 
crowd, in order to give intelligence to his brethren, 
at their next meeting, to commemorate their noble 
struggle in support of independence. The Frenchman 
exhibits a letter, which he assures him contains 
positive intelligence that ten thousand of his 
countrjrmen are landed in England in support of 
liberty and independence The joy with which his 
friend receives these glorious tidings, causes him to 
forget the wounds upon his head, which he has 
unluckily received by a too free and premature 
declaration of his principles. There is a fine contrast 
in a smile of innocence in the child at the woman's 
back, compared with the grim joy of a gentleman by 
it ; while the hard countenance of its mother gives a 
delicacy to the grenadier's girL Directly behind the 
drummer's quondam spouse, a soldier is reclining 
against a shed, near which is posted a quack-bill 
of Dr. Rock; and directly over him a wench at a 
wicket is archly taking a view, both of the soldier 
and of the march. Behind the drummer, under the 
sign of the Adam and Eve, are a group of figures, 
two of which are engaged in the fashionable art of 
bruising ; their equal dexterity is shown by sewed-up 
peepers on one side, and a pate well sconced on the 
other. And here the painter has shown his impar- 
tiality to the merit of our youths, (who, their minds 
inflamed with a love of glory, appear, not only 
encouragers of this truly laudable science^ but many 

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of them are also great proficients in the art itself) 
by introducing a youth of quality, whose face is 
expressive of those boisterous passions necessary to 
form a hero of this kind; and who, entering deep 
into the scene, endeavours to inspire the combatants 
with a noble contempt of bruises and broken bones. 
. An old woman, moved by a foolish compassion, 
endeavours to force through the crowd, and part 
the fray, in which design she is stopped by a fellow 
who prefers fun and mischief to humanity. Above 
their heads appears Jachey James^ a cobbler, a little 
man of meagre frame, but full of spirits, who enjoys 
the combat, and with fists clenched, in imagination 
deals blow for blow with the heroes. This figure is 
finely contrasted by a heavy, sluggish fellow just 
behind. The painter, with a stroke of humour 
peculiar to himself, has exhibited a figure shrinking 
under the load of a heavy box upon his back, who 
preferring curiosity to ease, is a spectator, and waits, 
in this uneasy state, the issue of the combat. Upon 
a board next the sign, where roots, flowers, &c. 
were said to be sold, the painter has humourously 
altered the words Tottenham Court Nursery ^ alluding 
to a bruising booth- then in that place, and the 
group of figures underneath. 

" Passing through the turnpike, appears a carriage 
laden with the implements of war, as drums, halberds, 
tent-poles and hoop-petticoats. Upon the carriage are 
two old women-campaigners, funking their pipes,, and 
holding a conversation, as usual, in fire and smoke. 
The grotesque figures afford a fine contrast to a 

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delicate woman upon the same carriage, who is 
suckling a child. This excellent figure evidently 
proves, that the painter is as capable of succeeding 
in the graceful style as in the humourous. A little 
boy lies at the feet of this figure ; and the painter, 
to show him of martial breed, has placed a small 
trumpet in his mouth. 

" The serious group of the principal figures in the 
centre is finely relieved by a scene of humour on the 
left. Here an officer has seized a milk wench, and 
is rudely kissing her. While the officer's ruffles 
suffer in this action, the girl pays her price, by an 
arch soldier, who, in her absence of attention to her 
pails, is fiUing his hat with milk, and. by his 
waggish eye, seems also to partake in the kissing 
scene. A chimney-sweeper's boy, with glee, puts in 
a request to the soldier, to supply him with a cap 
full when his own turn is served ; while another 
soldier points out the fun to a fellow selling pies, 
who, with an inimitable face of simple joy, neglects 
the care of his goods, which the soldier dexterously 
removes with his other hand. In the figure of the 
pieman the pencil has exceeded all power of descrip- 
tion. The old soldier, divested of one spatterdash, 
and near losing the other, is knocked down by all- 
potent gin : upon calling for f other cogue^ his waggish 
^ comrade, supporting him with one hand, endeavours 
to pour water into his mouth with the other, which 
the experienced old one rejects with disdain, puts 
up his hand to his wife, who bears the arms and 
gin-bottle, and who, well acquainted with his taste. 

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honour of dedicating to his Majesty the print engraved 
from it ; and a proof-print was accordingly presented 
for his approbation. The king probably expected to 
see an allegorical representation of an army of heroes, 
devoting their lives to the service of their country 
and their sovereign ; we may, therefore, readily 
conceive his disappointment on viewing their deline- 
ation. ' Does the fellow mean to laugh at my guards V 
exclaimed the indignant monarch to a nobleman in 
waiting. *The picture, please your Majesty, must 
be considered as a burlesque.' *What! a painter 
burlesque a soldier? he deserves to be picketed for 
his insolence.' The print was returned to the artist, 
who, completely mortified at such a reception of what 
ho properly considered to be his greatest work, imme- 
diately altered the inscription, inserting, instead of the 
King of England, "the King of Prusia (so spelt in 
the earliest impressions ) an encourager of the Arts.'' 


Representing Ships employed in the British Navy in 

various positions. 

By brooking. 



a market scene at night. 

By p. von SCHENDEL. 

Bequeathed to the Hospital by Mrs. Louisa Plumley. 

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^^And he stretched himself upon the child three times, 
and cried unto the Lord, and said, Lord my God^ 
I pray thee, let this child^s soul come into him again. 

" And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah ; and 

the soul of the child came into him again, and he 




Bequeathed to the Hospital by Mrs. Louisa Plumley. 


Painted on copper. 


Presented by Charles Pott, Esq. 


(Treasurer o/ the Hospital from 1746 to 1771 J 


(Treasurer of the Hospital from 1779 to 1791,^ 

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In tapestry, presented by Henry Laver, Esq. 


Presented by Frederick Wm. Pott, Esq. 

There is also a statuette of the First Sir "WiUiam 
Curtis, from a picture by Lawrence. 


(Treasurer from 1839 to 1862, and afterwards a 

Vice-President, ) 


Painted at the request of numerous friends. 

Governors of the Institution, and presented by them 

as a testimony of their esteem. 



(A Vice-Presideni.) 
Painted by R. Buckner for several of the Governors, 
and by them presented to the Hospital as a mark 
of respect. 

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''And when they were come into the house, they saw 
the young child with Mary his mother^ and fell down, 
and worshipped him: and when they had opened 
their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, 
and frankincense, and myrrh." 



By BRIGG8, R.A, 

portbait of lord chief justice wilmot. 
By dance. 


This excellent picture (by whom painted is not 
known) was presented to the Hospital by the late 
Lieut.-Colonel James C. Hyde. 


After the manner of CanalettL — ^Also presented by the 
late Lieut-Colonel Hyde. 


(Chaplain of the Hospital from 1802 to 1820.^ 
Presented by his Family, 

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(Fi/rst Patron of the Hospital ) 


(A Vice-President of the Hospital.) 


(A Vice-President) 


(A very active Governor,) 


(The Architect of the Hospital.) 


(A Governor.) 


(A Governor and most liberal Contributor,) 

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(Formerly President of the Hospital.) 
By C. p. green. 



This cartoon came into the possession of the 

Hospital under the will of Prince Hoare, Esq. 


The late lamented painter, B. R. Haydon, in a letter 

to the Secretary of the Hospital, dated 3rd October, 

1837, has given the following graphical account of 

this picture : — 

" Dear Sir, 

" I was extremely gratified yesterday at having 
ocular demonstration by your kindness, that one of 
the finest instances in the world of variety of expres- 
sion and beauty of composition, as a work of ' high 
art,* was out of danger and secure : I allude to the 
centre part of one of the last cartoons which be- 
longed to the set executed by Raffael, at the order 
of Leo X., and sent afterwards to Flanders, to be 
executed in tapestry, for the purpose of increasing the 
splendour of those exhibitions, so well known in Rome 
during Lent, at the Vatican. 

" The original number was thirteen ; but in conse- 
quence of the Flemish weavers cutting them into slips 
for their working machinery, after the tapestry was 
executed and sent to Rome, the original cartoons were 

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left mingled together, without care or interest, in boxes. 

" When Rubens was in England, he told Charles I. 
the condition they were in ; and the king, who had 
the finest taste, desired him to procure them. Seven 
perfect ones were purchased, all, it may be inferred, 
which remained, and sent to his Majesty : what be- 
came, or had become of the remainder, nobody knows; 
but here and there, all over Europe, fragments have 
appeared. At Oxford there are two or three heads ; 
and, I believe, the Duke of Hamilton or Buccleuch 
has others. But this sublime fragment, possessed by 
the Governors, is certainly the largest portion of those 
which are last remaining. I am quite sure, on this 
explanation, the Governors will perceive, on every 
point of view, the value, both as property and as a 
work of art, of this invaluable composition. After 
the king's misfortunes, the cartoons now at Hampton 
Court were sold, with the rest of his Majesty's fine 
collection; but by CromweU's express order, they were 
bought in for three hundred pounds. 

" During the reign of Charles XL, they were offered 
to France for fourteen thousand francs, but Charles 
was dissuaded from selling them. I cannot give you 
my authority at the moment. 

" This portion of the Murder of the Innocents was 
sold at Westminster as disputed property. Prince 
Hoare's father, before the sale, explained to an opulent 
friend the great treasure about to be disposed of, and 
persuaded him to advance the money requisite, on 
condition of sharing the property. To his great 
wonder, he bought it for twenty-six pounds, and his 

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friend, having no taste, told Mr. Hoare, if he would 
paint him and his family, he would relinquish his 

"I had these particulars from Prince Hoare, (his 
son), who repeatedly told me. I took Canova to see 
it (1815), who was enthusiastic in admiration ; and 
I was allowed, in my early studies (1804), thirty- 
three years ago, to copy all the heads, and I am quite 
sure there is hardly a day passes in which I do not 
feel the great advantage of so sublime a model for 
expression and composition. Look at the villain in 
front, grappling the leg of a victim child, and rolling 
on like a mountain fragment, which nothing can 
arrest! while the fiery and passionate mother throttles 
the monster to save her child, though you can per- 
ceive the mere physical weight of the iron-faced 
murderer will render her feminine resistance useless 
and in vain ! 

"As an instance of preserving beauty in violent 
expression, this head is unequalled in any of the great 
works of art in the world. It is a model of study, 
and I remember nothing to be compared to it. 

"Above this group is a woman of phlegmatic 
nature, as a contrast to the violent temperament of 
the one below; she is pale, blank, and utterly un- 
nerved; she stares at the murderer, who is pressing 
down the innocent face of her infant, and dashing the 
dagger into its throat, quite paralyzed and unable 
to resist. Above her is a young mother, with long 
hair, tenderly protecting her child, while the group 
is finished by a scoundrel, who, holding the hair of 

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one that is trying to escape, stabs the infant of the 
opposite woman, who has her hand in his eyes. 

" For all the intricate beauties of composition, for 
various modifications of the same feeling, according to 
the character chosen, there is no finer example any 
where, and such a work ought not to be in a back 
room badly lighted and scarcely seen, but in a room 
by itself, well lighted, the walls coloured on purpose, 
and in fact, such a production for the sake of the art, 
should be shown off to every advantage. It would be 
justice to Raffael, an honour to the Hospital and its 
Governors, and a kind compliment to my late friend : 
it would do the English school great good, and ad- 
vance the taste of aU classes. 

" One day in the week an advanced student, under 
proper introduction, might be admitted to finish his 
studies from it, and it might always be regularly 
shewn and explained to the visitors. 

** Pray, my dear Sir, lay my letter before the 
Governors, if you think it would not be a liberty, at 
their next meeting, and be assured I have no other 
object but the good of the art, the tenderest respect 
for my late friend, and an earnest desire to see so 
valuable a prize preserved as long as the materials 
will hold together. 

"I am, dear Sir, 

'* With every apology, 

** Truly yours, 

"B. E. Haydon.^' 

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Presented by his friend and executor, Newbold 
Kinton, Esq., a Grovemor. 


Presented by Newbold Kinton, Esq. 


May 13th, 1779. 


The particulars of this Picture are as follows, viz. : — 
" Sir James Wallace^ commander of H.M. Ship 
Experiment, with the Pallas, Unicorn, Fortunes, and 
Gahot, Brigs, attacking the Dance, Valeur, Reduce, 
three French Frigates, and a Cutter, in Concale Bay. 
The Dana^ he brought off. The other three being 
aground, he burnt, amidst a smatt Jire from a battery 
of six twelve-pounders, and several cartnon from the 
shore. The batte^ he silenced in half-an-hour." 


Bequeathed to the Hospital by Charles Devon, Esq. 

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The above bust was taken by the artist from 
sittings to him by Handel, and is the original 
work from which the celebrated statue in Vauxhall 
Gardens and that in Westminster Abbey were made. 
At the sale of Mr. Barrett, the proprietor of Vauxhall 
Gardens, the bust was purchased by Mr. Bartleman, 
and was, for many years, esteemed by him as his 
greatest treasure. Upon his death, it passed, by sale, 
into the hands of the trade ; and lastly, upon the 
recommendation of Mr. William Behnes, sculptor, 
was purchased and presented to the Hospital by 
Sir Frederick Pollock, Lord Chief Baron of tbe 
Exchequer, a Vice-President of the Hospital 



This picture was presented to the Hospital by 
E. W. Wadeson, Esq., one of the Vice-Presidents. 

The following interesting account of it is copied from 
Tail's Edinburgh Magazine of November, 1858 : — 

" Standing on an easel, in one comer of the relic 
room, is a picture^ beautifully imagined and executed. 
It represents a little simple-looking child, neatly 
clad in the foundling dress. The little brown frock, 
the tidy white apron, and the high-crowned muslin 
cap — ^looking so quaint and so demure on the little 
creature — are faithfully depicted. A girl of about 

* Now huBg upon the wall. 

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fourteen years of age leads the child with one 
hand, while with the other she points to a young 
and respectably-dressed woman who invites the 
hesitating child to come to her. There are tears 
in the eyes of this young woman, and a loving 
look of tenderness dwells in those tearfiil eyes as 
she looks at the little child, which betrays the 
relationship between them. A child's hat which she 
has brought with her, and which lies on a chair near, 
together with an open band-box containing childish 
apparel, tells the tale of a mother's thought, care, 
and love. An elderly female is in the back-ground ; 
we may suppose her another relative of the little 
foundling, or a friend of the poor, sorrowful mother. 

^'This picture was painted some months since, 
and the little girl who was taken as the model of 
the reclaimed child, was the one restored about a 
fortnight ago. At the time the picture was painted 
no idea was entertained that this child would be 

"But a. few more words about this picture. As 
we have before stated, it is beautifully painted, and 
there is a depth of truthful and poetic feeling in it, 
which does as much credit to the heart and mind 
of the artist as the mere manipulation conveys 
to her artistic skill. It contains a portrait of Mr. 
Brownlow (the Secretary), who is introduced in the 
back-ground. We recognized this portrait at once, 
and were surprised to hear that the picture we so 
much admired was the work and production of his 

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This Picture was painted for Lieutenant-Colonel 
James C. Hyde, (a Governor), and by him presented 
to the Hospital as a memorial of Eobert Bainy 
Pennington, Esq., an eminent Surgeon, and a Grover- 
nor of the Institution. 

It represents the Hospital-Infirmary. 



This Picture was painted for the late Baron Heath, 
and at his death, was presented by his family to the 


Presented to the Hospital by F. J. Blake, Esq. 


Presented by Charles Devon, Esq., a Governor. 

There is also a marble bust of Mr. Beckwith, pre- 
sented by Mr. Devon. 

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The other busts are of the late Henry Earle, Esq., 
the eminent Surgeon, who gratuitously gave his pro- 
fessional services to the Children of the Hospital 
for many years, by Behnes ; of the present Morning 
Preacher, the Rev. J. W. Gleadall, M A., by S. J. B. 
Haydon ; of the late Baron Heath, Vice-President, by 
E. A. Olivieri ; of Handel, by Roubiliac. 

In this room there are several Cases. 

The First contains Manuscript Music of Handel, 
given or bequeathed by him to the Hospital 

The Second — Coins or Tokens deposited with 
Infants, between the years 1741 and 1760. 

The Third — Miscellaneous Tokens in like manner, 
and of the same period. 

The Fourth — Autographs of Kings and Queens of 
England, &c,, commencing with Henry VII., presented 
to the Hospital by the late Baron Heath, one of the 

The Fifth — ^Medals of Foundlings who have served 
in the Army and Navy. 

The Sixth — ^Autographs of Hogarth and other 
eminent persons. 

There are other objects of interest in this Room, 
some of which have been presented by Foundlings. 

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She Inint ilfiont. 

This room contains Portraits of departed Pre- 
sidents, Vice-Presidents, Treasurers, and Governors 
of the Hospital, as well as Engravings after eminent 
Artists. ^ITie principal donors were the late Baron 
Heath, E. W. Wadeson, Esq., and the late Wm. Foster 
White, Esq. 

There is also an Original Drawing, by Guilio 

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There has been much talk of late about the 
necessity of establishing in this country Foundling 
HospitjJs, in their extensive signification — that is 
— Asylums where everybody's children may be re- 
ceived and m^iintained at the Public Expense— and 
this proposal is deliberately made, notwithstanding 
the total failure of such a scheme formerly, as is 
detailed in this book. To carry such a proposition 
i nto effect in these days^ would be falsifying the 
a dage which couples experience with wisdom, and 
putting out the beacon-light which our forefathers 
h ave' left us as a warning on this subject. We are 
told that this step is necessary to prevent Infanticide. 
This is about as foolish a notion as that of the 
mers of the present poor law, who proposed to 
prevent bastardy, by enacting a law the direct 
tendency of which was to increase it! Ther e are 
evils wi th which society is afficted, beyond the 
reach of human remedy, and to talk of preventing 
infanticide is simply to utter that which is opposed 
to^ommon sense and experience. 


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That sensible old philanthropist, Jonas Hanvxxy*^ 
who was a zealous Governor of the Foundling 
Hospital in 1756, and subsequently an actor in 
the scenes of its early administration, writes, in 

* This exoellent man was oonsfcantly engaged in works of benevolence, 
having for their object the amelioration of the condition of poor children. In 
furtherance of this, he founded the Marine Society, and worked strennonsly 
to improve the state of the Chimney Sweeping Boys, whose treatment at that 
time was of the most brutal kind. At the Foundling he was no less zealous 
in advancing the interests of the children. With what loving-kindness he 
writes, in 1759 : << As I lamented my own loss so very early in life, I feel the 
more for the children who are a^rt'WJ^ cut ofif from aU connections with 
parents ; I cannot help wishing it were possible for me to become a father to 
all of them, by every act of paternal care." He prepared for them a paper of 
farewell advice on quitting the Hospital, which is in use to this day, and a 
«« Hymn of Praise," which, as it has never been published, I here insert : — 

To Thee, Great Author of my life, ^ 

My humble vows I raise ! 
O, deign from Thy celestial throne. 

To hear my artless praise ! 

Each opening day, each closing night. 

To Thy blest realms above. 
My pious hymn shall duly rise 

Of pure and filial love. 

Without Thy aid my vital frame 

In cheerless want had pined ! 
Nor had one ray of saving truth 

Shone on my darken'd mind. 

In all my labours, all my works. 
May I Thy mercy share ; 

That mercy softens every toil. 
And sweetens every care. 

Still may increasing heavenly gifts 

My rising years attend ; 
That I may ever find in Thee 

A Father and a Friend ! 

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1759, on reviewing the foUi^ which had been 
committed, thus : — 

"To make a law, or provide an Hospital, which 
supposes, that without it, women will murder their 
children, however we may be induced to argue from 
some few known facts, supposes too much, and 
familiarizes our thoughts to a crime the most ab- 
horrent to nature. Nor can any law, or any Hospital, 
restrain those, whose cruelty or shame carries them 
such desperate lengths. We find some ivomen have 
been executed for the murder of their infants, and 
some infants have been found murdered, notwith- 
standing the indulgence shewn by the HosintaV^ 

Again he says : — 

" I believe, to one infant secretly strangled, or put 
to death, by the hands of the mother, five thousand 
die in the face of the sun by the ignorance or neglect 
of the mother or nurse, and five thousand more by 
being taken from the breast of the mother/* 

But we are told that as Hospitals for the indis- 
criminate admission of Children flourish in foreign 
countries, they ought to exist here. I have already 
shewn that this was the rock on which the early 
Governors and Parliament split at the outset of 
the London Foundling Hospital, and this is confirmed 
by the same excellent authority already quoted. 

" It seems,'* .8?js_ 5/07105 Hanway, " to have been a 
general mistake in establishing the Hospital, that we 
founded our arguments for it, and the great principle 

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of the plan, upon the practice of other nati ons, j iraw- 
ing our conclusions with too little atten tio n to the 
genius of our ownJ* 

Now with respect to Foreign Foundling Hospitals, 
it is a curious fact, that whilst parties in this 
country are holding them up to our example and 
imitation because of their liberal or unrestricted 
operation, the authentic of those institutions are 
themselves circumscribing their views on this subject, 
and bringing these establishments down to the sober 
and consistent level of the London Foundling 

In France, the work of reformation has been going 
on for a considerable time. The following are ex- 
tracts from noteSy on the present system taken in 
1864 :— 

" Few persons know that the Hospital for Found- 
lings no longer exists. That which hitherto was 
called by that sad name, has given place to the 
Enfans AssisUsJ* 

" The wheel (or turning box) as an active medium 
^or abandoning children has disappeared, and the 
statistics shew that neither miscarriages nor infanti- 
cides have increased in consequence.'' 

" The person who brings a child is admitted into 
the oJEce, and expected to reply to certain questions 
relative to the name and place of its birth, and of its 
parents who abandon it. The child is always received 
under a provisional order, and immediately conducted 

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to the nursery or the hall, according to its age. The 
director sends, as soon as possible, all the references 
obtained to the central administration for public as- 
sistance, who pronounces on the definite admission, 
and makes known the decision with the least possible 
delay : during the interval, the police have time to 
enquire into the cause of desertion, when it seems 
made under unusual circumstances. They thus assure 
themselves that the child, from its origin, does not 
belong to any other institution." 

/ •*In general, the information given at the Bureau 

/is true; the children are for the most part illegitimate, 

\ and .jmsfc dj, more than m isconduct, causes the 

\ desertion. The investigation is not very strict, the 

certificate of birth which must mention the name 

of the mother does not oblige her to acknowledge 

the child hereafter. It is necessary that a special 

document, signed by her own hand, should confirm 

or rectify the certificate of birth.'' 

^^ It is sufficient to pass some hours at the entrance 
of the house in the Rue d'Enfers, in the vestibule 
of the office of reception, to convince oneself that 
the mothers who bring their children, no longer 
have a bold and immodest air, which is the last 
outrage to neglected duty. Nor do they evince 
much grief: they have more the appearance of 
resignation to a temporary separation, and con- 
fidence in social benevolence with a fixed hope of 
reclaiming them in future.*' 

"The true character of this act is a deposit, not 

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an abandonment, and it is with justice the authorities 
^have substituted * on the frontispiece of the house, 
for the ancient title s)i *Enfans Trouv6s' that of 
( *EnfansAssist6s/" 

The wheel system in Portugal has also been 

And yet, is there nothing to do on this subject of 
infanticide? Yes, there is. Let us look manfully 
in the face of the companion evil — the evil of 
bastardy — and coping with this (if we can) a 
diminution of infanticide may possibly follow in 
proportion to our success. Let parliament infase 
into the existing law, a little more justice and 
charity towards the weaker^ and direct their ^shafts 
with greater certainty at the stronger of the two 
oflFending parties, and although this will not even 
then prevent either of these evils, they will at 
least have the satisfaction of knowing that they 
have done all they can towards lessening them ! 

J. B. 

October, 1865. 


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BooitMndine Co.. Inc. 
100 Cifiibridgt St. 

Cliartiilom MA 02129 


3 2044 019 991 678 


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